Lemon Grass Thai

Yes, we know you probably have an official holiday party sometime this month in your department. But if you’re looking for an additional out-of-office celebration, we suggest steering clear of anywhere too fancy and braving the short walk north to Lemon Grass Thai Restaurant on Lancaster Ave.

Even if we didn’t love the food at this corner row house restaurant so much, we’d be happy spending a cozy hour or so in the warm red-walled dining rooms adorned with dark carved wood and vibrant Indonesian textiles. And for cash-strapped pre-holiday Penn folks, the lunch special is a bargain: Appetizer, soup and an entrée for only $8.95.

If you’ve been here before you’ll have your own favorites. Some swear by the Swimming Rama—sliced chicken breast on a bed of spinach and peanut sauce—while others stick with tried-and-true Pad Thai. We like the crispy Corn Cake appetizers, served with sweet and sour cucumber salad, followed by a bowl of clear, spicy lemongrass soup and the Evil Jungle Princess entrée. The latter comprises chicken stir-fried with bamboo shoots, eggplant, bean curd and basil in a creamy red curry sauce. The dishes here come in quick succession, but you can draw out your festive meal with an á la carte dessert. We’ve heard the Mango with Sticky Rice ($3.95) is excellent.

Lemon Grass Thai Restaurant, 3626 Lancaster Ave., 215-222-8042.

Originally published December 7, 2006.

Originally published on December 7, 2006