In the interest of full disclosure, the side story is that we were planning to dine at the new Tom Yum Thai, which got pretty good reviews on Yelp. It took over the location of the old Tara Thai in Vienna, which we visited once and chose not to return. It happens to be located next-door to Lotus Garden, subject of our most recent review. When we arrived in Tom Yum Thai on a Sunday night expecting to have a leisurely dinner, we found it chaotic. Despite only a third of the dining room being seated, the Tom Yum Thai manager was clearly overwhelmed, frazzled and seemingly unwelcoming. We'll spare you the full story, but needless to say, as people were walking out due to lack of service, we suggested they try Lotus Garden next door. And we gladly followed them there!
On Sunday night, Lotus Garden had plenty of customers - large and small parties. We struck up a conversation with a couple who told us that they come to Lotus Garden from DC just for terrific hand pulled noodles, which the diners can watch being made through a large kitchen window.
While the noodles are offered primarily in soups, there is one popular dish that offers the noodles dry and pan fried with ground pork - Pork Noodles with Fermented Soybean Paste. One of the diners told us that he is addicted to it, and has it there at least once a week.
We also found out that you can have any of the Noodle Soup dishes be prepared as a dry Lo Mein for an extra $5, which is exactly what we had, pictured below. It was absolutely delicious. We also tried their Chicken Curry with onions, carrots and green peas, which was also terrific, albeit on the mild side. We shared some regular eggrolls and spring rolls, all very good.
Another delicious visit to Lotus Garden last night with a side show of noodle-pulling entertainment, confirming our first impression of this restaurant from only two short weeks ago.
Fried Lo Mein hand-pulled noodles with pork