HO Dinner: Lula Mae 5/17/2023 5:30pm

Still feathers, just fluffy feathers.

Okay, now I want a silkie chicken.

Well. If ya wanna split… never mind.

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OMG you’re right. Ish.


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Me, I was just glad to have made it (seriously hard to get to from the UWS of Manhattan) and spend a relaxed evening eating appealing chow with nice people. I really liked the cucumber salad, the hamachi crudo, the crab fried rice, the sticky fried chicken (the sauce for the other fried chicken had some off-putting, to me, ingredient in it). If it was closer, I might be back. I guess that’s faint praise, but I had a nice evening.

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Ok, we might have had a bit different take than others. I thought the food was tasty and very ably cooked and it seems to be priced the way such restaurants in our neighborhoods are priced. Chinatown its not. My biggest reservation was that it was rather timidly cambodian - maybe what people mean when they call a cuisine variant “Modern” is that they lighten or remove some of the funkier flavors and maybe some western touches to make the cuisine more acceptable?? I am not familiar with Cambodian cuisine specifically except for Cambodian Cuisine which Steve mentions and which we ate at a number of times and enjoyed but were not super impressed by.

I think they did quite well with the veg - I really liked the cuke salad treatment tho pieces too big, the bok choy (yes it was stringy) and the water spinach/morning glory tho i prefer this veg cooked with fermented bean curd or similar, however I did not care for the salad not sure why, maybe cuz it was just salad.
The dark sauced chicken was also very good but did not like the sauce for the regular fried chick particularly, it seemed like there was something missing to it. Duck was competent but meh, rice noodles were terrific, like the silver noodles I remember from past experiences, crab sambal rice terrific - I would have liked it even spicier and garnished up with egg, cucumber etc - and maybe some extra sambal on the side - it felt a little incomplete on its own at the end. Hamachi - fish was delicious in itself but thought the dish lacked a little punch in the condiments.
Know I left something out - in sum I would recommend to someone wanting stylish asian- ish in the neighborhood. Good flavors and chef quality cooking but a little less definitively Cambodian than I had hoped for.

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Just reposting what I wrote on the broader NYC thread here:

Tried Lula Mae for the first time this weekend. Sadly, it didn’t hit the spot for me.

The service felt hectic, rushed and impersonal; the vibe was what I call ‘generic Brooklyn’, and I didn’t think the price-to-quality ratio was up to par.

We started with a couple of cocktails — one was a take on a mezcal sour, which was too sweet, and the other was the day’s special: an unbalanced take on a whiskey sour.

We then had the beef carpaccio, which was good, but not outstanding. The fried chicken two ways was fine; we liked the tamarind sauce version better than the dry rubbed one. But again, didn’t blow us away (I wished for Peking House or Rowdy Rooster at that moment). The Grilled Bok Choy was just a regular stir fried dish that we make a better version of at home. The crab fried rice was also fine, but we make better fried rice at home.

We weren’t in the mood for dessert, and didn’t try the wine. To be clear, nothing was big B bad. It was all middling and uninteresting. Won’t return.

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