Lotus Root in Garlic Sauce from Red Bowl (208 Bedford Avenue, 718-388-8898)
OK, so you typically don’t have high hopes when you order Chinese food from a joint that has pad Thai on the menu. (Even though this YotT writer had a nicotine-like craving for pad Thai today and totally ate some from Red Bowl this afternoon. It was real nice.)
Anyway, in most cases, “Asian”-reaching establishments are so fusion focused that they serve up so-so versions of Cantonese-American staples at a premium. (The worst offenders often try to peddle predictable, mediocre forms of sushi.)
However, the lotus root in a light, white garlic sauce from Red Bowl is one of the strongest vegetarian picks sampled thus far by Year of the Takeout.
With a taste best described as water-chestnut-meets-chicken, flecks of golden, toasted garlic give this $8 dish a unique, crunchy meatiness that sates the stomach splendidly. This meal fills, but without being a gut-buster.