Saturday, July 07, 2007

Does NG Mean "Not Great?"

Beware of konagod doing restaurant reviews. txrad rarely has an idea for eating out but today he wanted to try the NG House which has several vegetarian dishes. Being as I was slightly hungover from last night's festivities I was thankful to have someone else make the decision today.

NG House was voted Best Chinese Food 2006 by CitySearch with a 9.9 rating. Hmmm, gotta try it then.

The first thing I noticed was a large dining space with very few tables. Maybe most of their business is take-out. I can understand why if they are always playing Majic 95.5 in the restaurant. Gag me right there.

One of my big pet peeves is when the music in a joint is in stark contrast to the culture of the cuisine. When I eat Indian, I want to hear sitars and tablas. When I eat Mexican, I want ranchera or mariachi. I sure as hell don't want to hear Sting singing "Every Breath You Take" when I have Chinese.

Who listens to that shit anyway? I couldn't stop visualizing boring women in their 40s, with bad hairdos, working a 9-5 job in a cubicle filled with family pictures and the dreaded clock radio set at low volume on this same station. Maybe they get up from their desks promptly at 12:00 noon every day, get in their Camry with the radio set at 95.5 and go out to some restaurant which plays the same station.

I ordered the egg drop soup and a coconut curry tofu dish. The egg drop soup wasn't bad, but it wasn't subtle either. I'm not the biggest egg head in the world, and until recently, I would only eat eggs if they were an ingredient in a baked dish, not the focus of the dish itself. I have recently taken a liking to breakfast tacos with egg, bean, & cheese, or egg, potato & cheese, and in both instances, covered in pico de gallo. Egg drop soup is.... just a little too eggy for me.

The coconut curry tofu was tasty but nothing that I felt would warrant anything close to a 9.9 rating. txrad ordered an NG tofu house special with a lychee smoothie. He was just curious about the taste of lychee. I think he still is because an overabundance of sugar and rose water ruled that drink! Honestly, a little rose water goes a LONG way. This was like a lifetime of rose water all condensed into one pearly white beverage. Yeeeeeccchhhh.

I have decided the people who voted this restaurant the Best of anything are probably people who are fond of the meat-based dishes, not the vegetarian dishes.

I am not the biggest fan of Chinese food in general but there are some stellar establishments out there serving excellent vegetarian cuisine. Veggie Heaven right here in Austin is one of my favorites. 10,000 Buddhas is another restaurant in San Francisco which I shall never forget. I can't seem to locate it and if I recall, it actually had another name as well, and I called it 10,000 Buddhas because it was easier to remember.

Those two restaurants are cited because I didn't want any of you to think I just dislike Chinese food in general and therefore a bad review was inevitable. And this isn't even a bad review, it's just not a 9.9 rating.

I give it a 5.3 rating. Had they been playing anything but that nauseating lowest common denominator pop music station on the radio, I probably would have given them a 6.0.

The good news is the portions are large and for $5.95 it's a good deal. We brought half of our food home. The lychee smoothie stayed behind.

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