Food Hussy Review: Lotus Pad Asian Cuisine - West Chester, OH

Last weekend I was invited to come up and try the latest restaurant at the amazingness that is Liberty Center and couldn't say YES fast enough! I mean - free Thai food - where do I sign up?! 

The folks at Lotus Pad provided me a free meal and a couple of gift cards (keep your eye on my Facebook page!!) to check it out.  If you're familiar with Liberty Center, Lotus Pad is located across the yard from the movie theater on the end opposite the indoor mall.

One of the restaurant partners, Bryan, walked me through the restaurant and let me know a little about how this all came about. They have one other location - in Big Sky, Montana! A couple of the restaurant partners though are from this part of the country and their chef was familiar with the area as well - so they decided it would be a good spot.

We started - by Bryan's reco - with the LARP (lettuce wraps) ($10) and chose the pork because we all know how much I love pork! (I partner up with the Ohio Pork Council all the time!) 

These lettuce wraps were amazing. Delicious. Perfection! There's basil and Thai chili, peanuts, ground pork and that sweet chili sauce. Hubby wasn't too sure about this - he doesn't like assembling his food - but once he started - he didn't stop! These were so much FRESHER tasting than the ones I've had before! It's a very bright and flavorful dish. 

I got to go behind the counter and watch them put our next dish together - and caught a glimpse of what they're working with. No wonder it tastes fresh - because it is! I loved that everything was out in the open and looked like it was right out of the garden. I'm down with that! 

Bryan also shared with us that Lotus Pad is all about Farm to Table. They source locally - from the meat to the eggs to the veggies - whenever possible. I perked up because of the whole pork thing and he didn't hesitate to put me in touch with their pork farm! 

The farm got back to me and said that they work with a couple of local food organizations (Ohio Valley Food Connection & Butcher and Grocer) to get their meat into local restaurants and they are the local pork provider for Whole Foods in this area. Pretty cool! 

Knowing where your food comes from definitely adds to the freshness - it's not from some big warehouse truck that drops it off frozen - they know where everything comes from and I like that. 

We had to try the Wagyu Beef - cuz duh - it's Wagyu Beef! The dish on top is the Crying Tiger ($31) with Wagyu Beef, thai chili spice rub and a tomato/cucumber/spinach salad topped with a mint vinaigrette. We both loved this dish! The steak was cooked mid-rare to perfection (of course). The mint worried me a bit - but no need for worry - it was a very light touch. This and the lettuce wraps were our faves - by far! 

On the bottom you'll see the Spicy Pork Belly Stir Fry ($21) with pork belly, thai chili, onion, scallion, snow pea and shitake mushroom in a dark soy sauce. This is the dish I saw them make - so I knew everything that went into it. I think too - because everything is made from scratch - they would likely customize for you if you didn't like one thing or another. This dish overall was good but I think the more I try it - the more I'm just not a pork belly fan. I mean - I love bacon - but the protein in this form just didn't wow me. I did eat all the mushrooms though. ;-) 

Also - either of these on their own would have been enough to share - when paired with an app. The portions are large and they encourage family style dining.

For the sake of tasting lots of things - we also got their Drunken Noodles ($16) which had chicken, basil, wide rice noodles, red bell pepper, scallion, broccoli, thai chili, lime and peanuts.  This dish was a little disappointing - it's a big portion but just didn't have the burst of flavor that the lettuce wraps and wagyu had. It was good - but I probably wouldn't order again. 

Bryan also brought over one of their Thai Teas. They have a lot of boozy treats as well although this was non-alcoholic. Oddly enough - it sort of had a creamsicle flavor once you mixed it together. I didn't love it - but I'm weird with drinks. Larry basically chugged it! He loved it! 

Overall - we loved Lotus Pad - just knowing how fresh everything is and how important farm-to-table is for them. We will definitely be back - mainly because I can't stop thinking about those damn lettuce wraps!!! 

Lotus Pad  Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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