fresh americanized vietnamese food, bad service, worst flavorful food, great place, great prices, affordable laidback neighborhood restaurant, very nice dining experience
Citysearch Editorial Review. Natural decor and soft lighting create a welcoming environment at this casual Vietnamese lunch and dinner spot that’s popular with couples and groups (this being Silver Lake, the crowd skews towards young hipster couples and families). The menu features a variety of Vietnamese favorites, including standards like pork-and-shrimp summer rolls, beef, chicken or pork noodle bowls, and banh mi sandwiches; non-meat eaters will find vegetarian- and vegan-friendly options like vegetarian pho with mushrooms, bok choy, carrots, ginger and baked tofu in a vegan broth over rice noodles, and the Gingergrass tofu with crispy tofu, shiitake mushrooms and bok choy served with vegan nuoc cham sauce. There’s also a rotating list of specials, which appear on the blackboard above the open kitchen. Service is friendly (if a little slow when it’s busy), and prices are affordable--while dinner entrees are pricier, noodle bowls, soups and sandwiches run under $10. Specialty beverages like ginger limeade or basil-lime elixir are refreshing non-alcoholic drink options; wine and beer are also served, including imports such as Tiger Beer from Vietnam and Tsingtao from China.
Great little asian bistro with a lot of character..
I've been dabbling with the idea of trying Ginger Grass for a while. I heard it was a great place for Bun, Banh Mi, and Pho in the Silverlake area. Growing up Vietnamese Chinese I'm pretty picky about my those aforementioned dishes because homemade was always the best or living in the San Gabriel Valley and being driving distance to Little Saigon you could get authentic and good almost anytime.
I was prepared for a complete bastardization of Vietnamese cuisine but hoping for a good plate of Asian Fusion. Instead, I came away really impressed. I had the Noodle Bowl with Grilled Shrimp and Imperial Roll. It was 10.50!!! the Imperial roll addition cost $1.50 for a little tiny roll the size of my thumb. My grandma would lecture me firmly for even thinking about paying for something like that. However, the little imperial roll was well done. Reminded me of Grandma's freshly fried Cha Gio. The grilled shrimp was well marinated with definite lemongrass flavors. I suspect either the nuoc cham (dressing) or the shrimp had a bit of msg in it because an hour after eating the bowls my bf was passed out in a food coma and i got my typical msg headache induced coma an hour after he did. Not verifiable though...but suspicious.
We ordered the Gingergrass fresh rolls, which was a suped up summer roll, packed with avocado, crab, and a good amount of mint and/or basil. It was served with a mayo mixed with sambal, which i found a little weird. Too creamy for the rolls. I squirted some hoisin sauce and sirracha on the plate and it was much better with the rolls. I didn't want to ask for another sauce cuz the waitress seemd a bit overwhelmed despite the restaurant being only half full on a late Saturday afternoon. She brought our appetizers out after we halfway into our noodle bowls.
My boyfriend ordered their limeade. It was watered down. He loves a good soda chanh so was a bit disappointed with it. I ordered the gingergrass ginger ale, and it was very very gingery.
We saw people crunching on the shrimp chips which they sold by the bags. I LOVED shrimp chips growing up. My grandma would fry them in a big wok in our backyard, crispy, shrimpy, yummy! We bought a bag to take with us on a road trip, it didn't disappoint. Brings back the memories. At $1.50 a bag, by one of those instead of spending it on the imperial roll addition to your noodle bowl.
We gotta go back for dinner, try the pho and the claypot catfish, and their cocktails. (Oh yeah, we ordered the vietnamese coffee ice cream for dessert, creamy, fluffy, with a hint of coffee and served with best gingersnap cookies i've ever had.) I want to make my way down their dessert list too.
To sum up, I would go there to get my vietnamese fix without driving to westminster or san gabriel and know that i'm going to get well executed food. I woudln't take my mom or grandma there though. They'd be horrified with the prices. And, I'll probably drink a lot of water before and after just in case they do use msg.
Slowly but surely, another one bites the dust.
I have never been compelled to write a review - until tonight - about Gingergrass. This restaurant has gotten my money and patronage since opening and used to be my favorite place to eat - fresh, tasty food, reasonable prices, nearby location, you know, all good stuff.
But never in my life have I personally witnessed a restaurant fall so far from grace, leaving me with only the hazy memory of its former glory.
First, the food is so saturated with a salty, saucy coating that most all the dishes taste the same... Now I am not a horse, but you may as well serve up a salt block, garnished with a sprig of alfalfa.
Second, there has recently been a mysterious shortage of rice. On several occasions I've been told they were out of rice, and would I like something else? Certainly not! I am Asian, and I need rice with my Asian food! Whoever takes charge of rice I deem unfit for Asian food service till the end of time.
Third, if I wanted to listen to new age trance on loop all night, I'd be at my little brother's high school rave party.
Fourth, although I don't eat at Gingergrass nearly as often as I used to, the food still manages to give me horrible indigestion EVERY SINGLE TIME. Maybe I'll post my next review on LA's public health page...
Love the pork chops. Love the pork chops. The marinade is similar to Korean BBQ marinade, and the pork chops are served with short grain rice and an Asian-style cole slaw.
Love the food ... some servers need to shave and wear clean clothes. this is one of my favorite restaurants, so to be fair, I have to say I absolutely love the Shaking Beef and the Tofu dish. On the other hand, I've almost gotten sick to my stomach a couple of times that I've gone in for lunch and saw how dirty the servers' clothes looked. I looked down and this server's shoes looked like he had partied too hard the previous night, stepped all over his peeuk , went to sleep and rolled off the bed right over to do his shift at Gingergrass. and the worst thing is that when they're carrying too many dishes, they lean them against their sweaty body with dirty clothes. There's one particular server that the last time I walked in the restaurant, I just had to leave. He has an extreme amount of facial hair (very puffy, long beard), and on my last trip, I thought I saw my food almost touch his beard when he was walking through the tables. I thought there were some food serving laws against facial hair being that ungroomed? I've cut down a lot on my trips to Gingergrass for the simple cleanliness of the servers, and when I do go, I try to eat at the tail end of lunch so that they're not too busy and my food doesn't have to touch their unlaundried shirt or ungroomed facial hair.
Fun with Vietnamese food!. I've always had good dining experience at Gingergrass. I like going on Thursdays because just accross the street there's a wine vendor offering wine tasting. So I first find parking which can be dicey, I put my name on the list at Gingergrass, along with my cell no. so they can call me when my table is ready. Then we scoot across the street for some wine tasting. Every time we've decided on an appropriate bottle of wine, we're called letting us know our table is ready. Typical of the Silverlake/Los Feliz area, you'll find the crowd is eclectic, and the mood is casual and overall friendly. I've sampled most of their menu and haven't found fault in it. Be reminded though, this is Americanized Vietnamese food, that is all good. If you're looking for "authentic" then consider going to Garden Grove (try Brodard @ 9100 Trask Ave, or Pho Lu @ 10141 Westminster Ave). But given gas prices today, I'll go to Gingergrass every Thursday for my Vietnamese food fix.
Great food, bad service..
Good food and as a previous user stated "authentic vietnamese" food but it's still good. The servers are only wrapped up about their friends coming through the door and socializing so just feel free to yell and wave to get their attention. Heck even get up yourself to get that condiment you're looking for. What can you expect you're in Silverlake.
The shaking beef and mako salad and if you like shrimp entree are recommended. Pass on the desserts and any of the appetizers other than the imperial rolls.
Stylish & Homey. Love the design of the place and super incredible food. The waiters are speed lightning and if you can catch one it's a miracle. If you don't get their early enough expect an hour wait!
Great Healthy Food, Fun Urban Neighborhood Joint, and Yes Crappy Service**. My husband and I grab dinner at Gingergrass at least twice a month, and have been doing so since they opened. Although I will agree that service is iffy, I wouldn't say it's the worst but we absolutely avoid it during peak hours (anything after 7pm on weekdays and after 6 on weekends- seriously they're THAT busy). The place is small and very bustling, it has an urban feel and gets very hectic during peak hours so I understand when the servers are slammed and often rushing like mad, BUT that does not excuse their curt and 'European Style' service. I will agree that I have rarely had an exceedingly nice server, usually they're merely passable but they deliver the food and bring me the bill so honestly my love for the food negates their poor attitudes. Meals are pretty cheap and my staple of Hazelnut Rogue Beer, fresh Papaya Salad, and Chicken Noodle Bowl (the best noodle bowl ever) are always fantastic. The Curry Claypot is delicious, as is the Shaking Beef. It may not be the most authentic Vietnamese, the friendliest, or the fastest, but it has a great upbeat feel, delicious and healthy menu options and I will continue to love and visit this neighborhood joint. I'm surprised at the number of negative reviews, and I would expect the staff and owners at Gingergrass to step it up based on this feedback, maybe they're busy enough simply not to care.
I love the shaking beef!. I just read a review saying that it was the worst food he'd ever eaten. Seriously? I have been eating at Gingergrass since it opened and I love it. I haven't had the dishes the negative user tried....so possibly they aren't great but everything I've eaten there is fantastic. In fact, I think it's the Platonic Ideal of Shaking Beef. And the tofu noodle bowl is excellent. The service is sometimes good and sometimes not....but I don't care that much about that aspect of dining as long as it's not bad and the food is good. It does get crowded on weekend evenings and there are no reservations. Go when they open if you don't want to wait....or go for lunch.
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