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Friday, January 9, 2015

China Lounge: No need to scrounge!

Last lunch for 2014: lunch #63

Catching up from our last lunch in 2014: we went to the China Lounge, a new-ish Chinese place in Pleasanton, in the Rose Pavilions Shopping center (4220 Rosewood Drive). 

Location 3.5 points: Rose Pavilions isn't all that appealing, and this place has absolutely no curb appeal whatsoever. Very "strip mall"-esk. Gets better once you go inside!

Ambiance 4.5 points: very nice, considering the genre of restaurant. I believe this was the old Calico Corners place. The restaurant designers did a great job breaking up the large space: a central "fenced" off eating area, surrounded by tables on a raised platform, with individual spacers between. Gives a cozy feel.  We also liked the open kitchen style and the nice wood tables and padded chairs. Definitely a big step up from the other Chinese restaurants in town. The bar area is very chic and trendy, with a beautiful art-glass mosaic panel. Quite appealing-I'd like to go back for an evening cocktail some time!

Enclosed dining area in the center; open kitchen behind

Cool Bar!
Menu 3.5 points: we only looked at the selection for lunch specials. Usual list and reasonable choices. Lunch includes sweet/sour soup and either jasmine white or brown rice. No chow Mein or fried rice. Nothing really outstanding about the lunch menu, but we were happy to select orange chicken and Mongolian beef, and figured we would share.

Service: 3.5 points: very good attentive server. Hard to get their attention again after the food was delivered (rather typical).

Food 3.5 points: Overall very good. The sweet sour soup was hot, the side of rice was very basic. The chicken was typical: fried chicken in an orange sauce as expected. The flavor of the beef was good, albeit a bit chewy. Neither seemed too greasy. Mom liked the chicken best and was happy to have lots to take home for another meal! Only downside: they had no tea service that day. Must not have been able to provide hot water? I can't really understand how that could be—or maybe they ran out of tea? Rather strange, we thought. So we had water.
Lots of left overs from this lunch!
Value: 3.5 points: Food prices rather typical for lunch: $12 for the beef and $10 for the chicken. Not as good of a deal as some other Chinese restaurants in town, but the ambiance makes up for the difference.

Overall score for China Lounge: 3.7 points. We enjoyed our lunch, and we'd definitely go back. I'd like to try to go for dinner and have a drink in the bar to start!

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