My sister is a Groupon addict and often buys Groupons for random restaurants all around the city, which works out well for me, because she tries places all over and when she finds one she really likes, she lets me know. This is how we ended up at Asian Grill. They went and liked it and then we all went together (and several of you guys had recommended it as well). So, the first thing I noticed is that I think this may be one of maybe two or three restaurants in Indy I have been to that had a significant wait at 6:00. Luckily we had made a reservation, so we didn’t have to wait the hour that many were waiting for a table (we did have to wait about 10-15 minutes past our reservation time). Seriously, this place was heaving. That always kind of gets me excited, because when you see so many people, you figure something must be good right?
So this is another of the restaurants that calls itself “pan-Asian” so it can incorporate various influences from various cuisines. They offer dishes that are Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, Indian and Cambodian. This seems to be a popular thing right now, and if it is being done well, it is sort of nice to have lots of different things to choose from.
We sat down at our table (which was unfortunately very close to the door which was opening quite frequently and which made for a very chilly spot--a curtain in front of the door might be nice) but we were just happy that we had a table! We started with some apps—the crab wontons, the vegetable samosas, and the Thai beef salad.
My least favorite thing was the Thai beef salad ($5.50) which I normally really like, but not in this case. It is a cold beef salad, and the beef was actually tasty and tender, but the vegetables it was served with were pretty much all raw red and green pepper chunks, which are not my favorite thing to eat by the forkful. In the past, I have had this served with lettuce and pickled red onions which I preferred. It is described on the menu as being in red wine vinaigrette, but it seemed a bit sweeter than that to me.
|Thai Beef Salad|
We got three entrées and shared them. They are really good sized, and in my opinion you could share one between 2 people. Anyway, we had the Lok Lak Beef, the Orange Chicken, and Red Pepper Shrimp. Actually, the main dishes were all good. The Lok Lak Beef ($14.25) is Cambodian in origin and was large chunks of sirloin that were sautéed. The edges were slightly crispy from what was probably caramelization of the marinade when the pieces of beef were sautéed. It was served over sliced onions and with a side of cucumbers, lettuce and tomatoes. The beef was really tender, and had a nice flavor of garlic that combined with the onions was really good. This is a Cambodian variation of the Vietnamese Shaking Beef (speaking of which, I ran across the recipe online for the Slanted Door’s version—which was one of my favorites in San Francisco. Thought I would share here.) Anyway, I would certainly order this again.
|Lok Lak Beef|
My brother-in-law ordered the orange chicken ($12.50), which is something I never would have ordered on my own, because if just sounds too sweet, but this dish was quite good, and wasn’t as sweet as I would have thought. It is described as having an orange pulp infused sauce—and while it was somewhat sweet, it did maintain a bit of the tangy flavor of the orange as well. The pieces of chicken were white meat and were lightly battered and fried and pleasantly tender.
|Red Pepper Shrimp|
74 North 9th Street
Noblesville, IN 46060