| Not far from the University, Lemongrass offers Thai cuisine in a quiet setting. I used to frequent it not only because it is the only Thai restaurant here in the city, but also because it offers food that is reasonably hot. My favorite time to visit the restaurant is during lunch time because they have a rather good lunch special. The dishes are in smaller portion sizes, but they are better flavored than most of the dinner dishes. A lunch order consists of a thin egg roll, a small fresh mix of garden salad tossed in a dark tasty dressing, and a main course served with either brown or white rice.
My favorite dish is the basil chicken. The thinly shredded chicken is stir-fried with slices of some tomato like green eggplants, basil leaves, mushrooms, strands of bamboo shoots and Thai peppers. It usually comes hot with a strong aroma from basil. To date, I think this is probably my single favorite dish from a restaurant in Las Cruces. The red curry pork is also pretty good. Slices of pork, bamboo shoots, mushrooms and pieces of Thai peppers are stewed in curry mixture. Unlike most places that offer “hot” foods, Lemongrass delivers.
As for not-so-hot dishes, personally I don’t have much experience on them. But several of my friends concurred it was a bit overpriced for the fare offered. A friend of mine told me the very last time and the only time she visited the place, she was very disappointed. The dish that was supposed to serve hot came cold and tasteless.
A few things one must remember when ordering food here. First, on the menu, there are peppers next to some dishes which indicate the heat levels. Three peppers are the hottest ones on the menu. Of course, if you like something more than that, you can always ask for “Thai hot”. It is generally accepted in most of Thai restaurant where owner knows that you are not easily intimidated by heat. As for people who doesn’t like hot food, it offers a plenty of pepper-less dishes from mild curry dish to sweet and sour chicken (I know, sweet and sour chicken doesn’t sound very Thai). Second, the serving portions are rather small. Don’t be too surprised that after the whole courses, you still find a plenty of room for dessert. Third, one must wait to be seated. I frequent the restaurant so often that last time my friends and I were there we took a place where I usually sit as soon as we stepped into the restaurant. The waitresses simply ignored us the whole time. When they started to serving people came after us, we got the message and left the place. Since the waiters/waitresses are normally hired from NMSU, they ended up with high turn-over and the service was affected by this as well.