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Review of Gingergrass

Ranked #968 of 11,892 Restaurants in Los Angeles
Cuisines: Vietnamese
Restaurant details
Reviewed 27 January 2017

I WORK DOWNTOWN, BUT LIVE IN SAN FERNANDO VALLEY.. ON DAYS THAT I am too tired to cook, I call in my order to Gingergrass, and my to go food is ready when I get there..I love the food here, it's delicious, fresh and my neighbors love the food here as well..there is a lot of variety, and I have not had a dish that I haven't enjoyed yet.. in fact, I think I will order food tonight on the way home and surprise my neighbors..the noodles are great, the egg rolls are great, the spring rolls are amazing, there are so many dishes to choose from that I never get bored of the food..

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Janet D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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7 - 11 of 77 reviews

Reviewed 30 October 2016 via mobile

We didn't have much time and need to get a bite near a downtown office. So we walked around the corner and literally took a quick glance at the menu and said let's try it.
Very attentive waiter who helped use navigate the menu. We shared very thing including fries that were Amazing.
The chicken salad so fresh with mint, basil and cilantro. Also tried the spring rolls..yum.
We each had a glass of Rose...recommended and was perfect.
It's a basic little restaurant, nothing fancy but very good....saw lots of take out during our lunch.

Thank Penelopewms
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 September 2016

Not good in general. Unfriendly, slightly rude service and blah food, some of it made sloppily. The waitress (a tall white woman, young), must have come to our table about 4 times within 5 minutes to ask if we were ready. She was robotic and unfriendly and a bit to "in your face". I am not sure why she needed to serve us and get us out of the restaurant so quickly because the rest was maybe 1/6 full. She was offensive. (NOTE: I should have known when she said please sit at any of the smaller tables when we arrived even though almost nobody was occupying ANY table!)

She showed us the specials on the chalkboard and then we ordered one of them as an appetizer. She then came back to tell us they no long had that item- at 6PM! Clearly they have some kitchen management issues. We ended out ordering a veggie dumpling appetizer. It was truly disgusting. First of all the dumplings were gigantic and rectangular (maybe 3 x 6 inches)- very odd. There was no way to get them onto your plate without completely breaking them. I asked the waitress what we were supposed to do because all of the stuff was pouring out. And she said "well they are just very delicate dumplings". In fact they were the opposite of delicate! They were just poorly made. They were crumbly, tasted somewhat powdery and were heavy. The stuff pouring out of the inside from the serving plate looked somewhat unappetizing and we just chose to use our fork and eat random bits of dumpling outside or inside because the whole dumpling fell apart. The waitress clearly does not care about the restaurant or her job. She just wanted out of there. I cannot believe they charged us for very poorly executed food that tasted lackluster at best.

We then had a tofu bunh and a bunh with halibut. The tofu one was really kind of gross. The chunks of tofu were nearly the size of full-sized marshmallows, and while seared well on the outside, had simply ZERO flavor. Zero flavor. Zero! The rest of the bowl was ok but nothing exciting and not very flavorful. The halibut was cooked to a crisp and was very dry on the inside. While I agree it would be nice to have a bit of char on the outside, it should not be dried out on the inside. All in all, it was a bad experience from a culinary perspective with a miserable waitress who seemed to hate her life. To the waitress: Please find a job that makes you happy and enjoy life- you deserve it- this one is not right for you!

I would avoid this place. Prices are a bit higher than other Vietnamese places. They are trying to sell themselves as hipper/trendier Vietnamese but there is no difference between here and other less dressed-up places except the food is bland and ill-prepared.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank GlendaleCA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 June 2016 via mobile

Cool, casual atmosphere, attentive pleasant staff, overall above average Viet food, made with good produce & no msg, the starters are delicious, the pho is mostly good (I've had a weak broth on occasion), the coconut sorbet is delicious. easy parking in adjacent lot. I eat there maybe once every three weeks.

Thank AlastairCookieNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 June 2016

They say you have a better chance making money on the “wheel of fortune” in any Las Vegas casino then you do opening a restaurant. I believe the mortality rate of restaurants are about the same as the divorce rate in the bible belt, which is somewhere around 80 to 90%. That is why I do have to give props to any establishment that can stay in business for more than a year, which like most marriages is about the length of their staying power.
That doesn’t mean that the restaurant itself is anything spectacular or even worth survival, it’s just an indication that the people who frequented have either fallen into the habit or for some reason just like going there. But even they, after a while get tired. Sort of like “Crocodile Dundee” sequels. I bring all this up because of this place called “Gingergrass”. It is an average Thai restaurant completely indistinguishable from the literally hundreds and hundreds of other Thai restaurants in Los Angeles. Especially a smaller almost “pop up” type establishment, in a tiny space, run by a rather sober wait-staff and very non-Thai chefs who seemed in most cases to be waiting around until that spec script of theirs gets picked up by Harvey Weinstein. But it has been at this location for about five years or so...
In fact, I guess for me the thing that I find most disconcerting about “Gingergrass” is the attitude of the people who work there.. Because of my schedule, I tend to dine alone. It’s also a great way to really get to know a restaurant since you are spending virtually all of your attention on the service, the food, the atmosphere and even the silverware rather than trying to impress some newfound hopeful from Craigslist that you have been emailing for the past two months. In those cases, you have virtually no memory of any experiences with the restaurant itself including what the food tasted like, or even what you ordered.
So in the case of this place, it had all of my attention. And that was, I believe, unfortunate. I’ve noticed that most customers are in multitudes around the tiny tables, extremely animated in their discussions, and pay very little attention to the big steamy bowls that are put in front of them.
One thing about most restaurants that I admire is that when you come in by yourself the host and wait-staff tend to give you a little extra attention. As if they know that in our society such a creature as a lone diner is something to be pampered. Unfortunately at “Gingergrass”, they seem to be at best tolerated and at worse patronized and discarded. Perhaps because it is such a small place with few tables, their feeling is that they are losing money with having only one body at a table, and the wait-staff feels that one person equals a smaller tip. The same is true for those who want to linger. Once your plates are cleared, a check is immediately presented, and they are suddenly at you every few minutes (something that didn't happen before and during your meal). You begin to feel like someone who is hanging around someone's house after dinner... and watching them get into their "PJ's" and begin vacuuming in an attempt to give you a message to go home. Again, they are more interested in the "turn-over" than making you feel welcome. Not good for a place that depends mostly from repeat business from their neighbors.
No reason to go into any detail on the food itself. It has very little to do with real Thai cuisine, and honestly I don’t think there attempting that. You get the feeling that the people in the kitchen were told by their roommates in college that they made a mean Gaeng Keow Wan Kai. So they thought, what the hell, let’s open a restaurant.
In truth their sort of version of a Gaeng Keow, or any other classic dishes is far from “mean” and just adequate. Though the ingredients used seem to be of a high quality there just seems to be very little love or passion or effort put into it. So you find yourself thinking that the broccoli taste like it came more from a garden than the frozen food section but nothing about it makes your eyes widen.
Back to the wait-staff, as I have mentioned in other reviews, it seems to be here, and in most Los Angeles restaurants of this ilk, run by men and women who are much more interested in their real careers, which of course have nothing to do with serving food. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having survival jobs before you pursue something better, but this job, no matter how temporary, should be about creating an atmosphere for those who come to eat and enjoy the gestalt of the restaurant experience. You may hate it, but fake it anyway. That is your job for now. I mean, when I drive through a McDonald’s, I am pretty sure that all the people who work there are on their way to bigger and better lives, however I am usually impressed as to their friendliness and desire to please. Again, even if it's faked, it makes for a nice experience At Gingergrass this is not at all part of the experience.
Perhaps because the restaurant is surrounded by a large block of apartments, and newly constructed condos which are erupting around the area like summer rain mushrooms, they do get a healthy business. But frankly you don’t get a sense that anyone who goes there has arrived for any kind of good experience or a great Thai cuisine, but rather a quick fill up. No one has a passion when they drive up to a Chevron to get gas, but they tolerate the experience because it’s needed. I get the sense after my own experiences at Gingergrass and both talking to and observing others there, that this too is more a place to fuel up rather than dine out.

1  Thank Heywood F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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