A Thorough Analysis of My Meal at Ludacris' Short-lived Pan-asain Resturant
@LevNovak asked, so I am answering. I can't wait to find out where this conversation is going.
- •I ate at the now-closed location of Straits in the Westfield Shopping Centre one evening last year, before going to a movie at the nearby AMC Theatre with 2 friends.Yup. "Centre" and "theatre" in one sentence.
- •The first thing I noticed was literally Ludacris' face.I went to the big communal sink in the non-gender-divided bathroom to wash my hands and a newspaper article about him featuring this photo was framed and hanging next to the mirror.
- •We sat down and I enthusiastically reported to my friends that "this place is owned by Ludacris!"They somehow already knew this.
- •It was very dark, but seemed pretty nicely decorated. Like a fancy PF Changs, but not necessarily in a bad way.
- •We started with drinks.They were heavy on the sweet liqueur and tropical juices. I had a spicy margarita with chili salt on the rim. It was a little too sweet for my taste, but my friends liked theirs.
- •On to appetizers.We shared roti prata, which is an Indian flatbread, with a curry dip. It was good, but you could tell but they were definitely catering toward American tastes: the bread was slathered in butter and the curry dip was super sweet. We also shared wings, that were glazed with some sort of sticky, sugary sauce. There's a lot of sweetness in Southeast Asian cooking, and that is fine, but it has to be balanced. This was not balanced.
- •We shared something called "Straits Risotto"This pissed me off a little bit because I make risotto, and this was not risotto. It was basically laksa, which is a Malaysian curried soup dish with noodles, except they used arborio rice in place of the noodles. It was pretty good though.
- •There was some eggplant.It had some good flavors going on--spicy chilies, garlic--but again, too sticky sweet.
- •We got some sort of Asian-inspired slaw.It can't have been that spectacular because I don't remember anything about it.
- •Overall, it wasn't terrible, but it wasn't great.The location we ate at has since closed and I probably won't go out of my way to find another. That said, if I were in an airport and there were a Straits, I could probably be convinced to eat a quick bite there.