Sigh. I so wanted to enjoy Banana Leaf.
We arrived at 5pm on Saturday before a party. Vegan Ashlie came with me as she loves Thai food and she was my willing accomplice. The decor of Banana Leaf is beautiful. It's an older house with beautiful contemporary details in the decor down to the pendant lights, color choices and beautiful bench seats. Your walk from the parking lot will lead you through a small little garden with statues.
I'll admit that I am not familiar with Mason, but I'm not certain I'm in the mood to drive all the way out to Banana Leaf for Thai. Unless it's knock your socks off good.
We went over the extensive menu and I decided to play it safe with Tom Yum soup which is a hot/sour soup which I chose to have with shrimp. It would have went a long way with me if they would have taken the tails off the shrimp before serving the dish. I dislike floating shrimp tails in the bowl.
I thought that it tasted very good. I could have done with less soup for maybe a cheaper price. Perhaps a $4 bowl that was smaller?
There were fresh mushrooms and tomatoes in the soup that made a great flavor with the lemongrass.
VeganAshlie attempted to order the same dish and get tofu as there was a "vegetarian" option. The server quickly told me that Tom Yum would not be the best choice for that because the broth was still chicken. Huh? Vegetarian soup made with chicken broth? Okaaaay. Ashlie ordered the Tom Ka soup which we were told was the same as the Tom Yum but made with a coconut milk base instead.
While she enjoyed the soup at first she said after a while it just tasted too sweet. After she fished all the tofu and veggies out of it she was pretty much done with it. I tasted it and it was indeed a smoky sweet but still, a sweet soup. Another case for the $4 bowl.
We then moved on to entrees. I played it safe with Pad Thai which was good, but I've had better for cheaper. It just wasn't anything special. The presentation of it was absolutely beautiful. It was presented on a banana leaf (get it?) then there was a small pile of crushed red pepper, peanut, lime and bean sprout for garnish.
Ashlie ordered the Drunken Noodle which came out the first time tasting and looking absolutely beautiful. However, it contained egg after she explicitly ordered it without egg and with tofu to make it vegan, the server repeated the order exactly. She ended up sending it back.
In the meanwhile we had to request refills on our beverages from another server because our server was nowhere in site.
After a few minutes her replacement arrived and it was, well, greasy and rushed. While they did remake it to her original specifications it seemed that they rushed a bit too much in the remake and the noodles were stuck together and the whole dish just sat in a puddle of grease.
It's funny I guess because while we were waiting for our check which we had to ask for I was telling Ashlie the story of how when I was at Senate we split a bill and somehow I got charged for both halves. Well, guess what happened? I got charged for both halves.
I told the server and he said he didn't actually run the credit cards. Is that normal? Was he not qualified to run credit and the manager had to? I might have preferred he took a crack at it since I got charged double for my food. The problem was quickly corrected. And by corrected I mean that they voided the 1st transaction and correctly charged me. So instead of being without $26 for mediocre food, I am now without $78 until the bank hold is lifted on the $52. Whatever.
Yes the food was okay and yes the problems were both corrected and apologized for. But come on! It was only 5pm! We were 1 of 2 tables in the restaurant. How hard could this have been? They are really going to have to step up their game in the future.