I tend to ask a lot of questions when dining out. I’m not trying to be rude or obnoxious, quite the contrary. As a food blogger, I’m naturally curious about all food, and I like to know what I’m eating…especially because sometimes I like to go home and attempt to recreate it!
On a recent trip to (8224 Olive Blvd), my interrogation didn’t go over quite as well. I think this was due to a number of factors, but primarily a slight communication barrier and some misunderstanding. However, this didn’t in any way take away from the experience my husband and I had while dining there. If anything, it added a little mystery to what meal would be placed in front of me!
With one of the largest menus I’ve ever encountered at a Chinese restaurant, we understandably had quite a difficult time deciding. Part of me wishes I’d eaten there for a weekend lunch to experience their dim sum, which would have afforded me the opportunity to try a variety of dishes. My husband Ryan and I will return for that; there were a number of intriguing items on the dim sun menu!
After browsing the extensive menu, Ryan finally settled on the fresh sole in black bean sauce and I ordered some sort of tofu and vegetable dish with an unknown sauce (herein lies the mystery caused by our miscommunication of each other). Despite any uncertainty and confusion, I couldn’t have been more pleased with my dish. I tend to order tofu at restaurants because it’s one of the few proteins I have not yet attempted at home. The mystery sauce, whatever it was, was lightly sweetened and coated the plethora of vegetables on my plate. Both of us were surprised by the presence of vegetables on our plates—Lu Lu certainly doesn’t skimp and for that we were very appreciative! Ryan’s fish was perfectly cooked and we both made a mental note to order black bean sauce next time we’re out.
Despite cleaning our plates, neither of us was left with that unpleasantly heavy feeling that often plagues us after Chinese food. Though service was a little slow, especially considering how relatively empty the restaurant was on a weeknight, it’s apparent that a lot of care is put into every dish and every interaction with customers.
From the outside, the restaurant looks a bit run down, but stepping inside we found a large, clean dining room ornately decorated and with a full bar on one side. With room for large groups and a menu option to satisfy every type of customer, this is a great place to bring large parties! According to their website, they also have private karaoke rooms available as well as a few additional entertainment options from time to time. No time for karaoke? Lu Lu also offers takeout!
Next time you’re craving Chinese food, pop on over to Lu Lu! I guarantee you’ll find something you like…even if you don’t know what it is you’re ordering!
Natalie McLaury is a University City resident who cooks and writes a food and recipe blog called The Sweets Life.