While surfing the internet, like I usually do, I stumbled upon a coupon for LA Grill in Richmond. Not that I was itching to visit the place (think X-Site), but for $28.00, I could get two 3-course meals. Yes, the Asian in me took over and I looked at the bottom line rather than what I was getting myself into. I'm actually quite familiar with LA Grill and its rock-bottom pricing and large portions. But with that, something has to give and that would mean food quality. Whatever the case, I invited Whipping Girl to come join me on my adventure deep into Richmond.
Unlike many other restaurants, our server gladly accepted the coupon and offered up some really great service throughout the meal. As per the coupon, we both started with the Clam Chowder. This monstrous bowl was a meal in itself packed with tender red potatoes, carrots, onions, celery, clams, shrimp and a whack load of bacon. So much so, the flavour profile was predominantly bacon (in terms of flavour and fattiness). Whatever the case, the soup was creamy, flavourful and overall decent. Next up, I had the Chicken Caesar while Whipping girl had the Shrimp Caesar. The romaine lettuce was crisp and fresh, however, the dressing was quite weak as we didn't get any hits of anything. The baby shrimp were fine, but the chicken tenders were quite dry and bland.
Seeing how we didn't want to be limited as what we could eat, we added 2 additional appies starting with the Calamari. These tender squid rings were very easy to eat while maintaining a slight chew. Despite being light, the batter was only crispy in parts while some portions were a touch soft. We weren't even sure what the accompanying dip represented as it had absolutely no taste. Next, we tried the Salt & Pepper Wings. These were unmistakable as we could see and taste the seasoning. We liked how they did not wimp out here. Furthermore, these were lightly crispy where there was still moisture inside. Hence, rather than being super dry and crunchy, they were soft and juicy.
Onto our entrees, we picked the most expensive stuff (darn that Asian in us!). Whipping Girl had the Steak and Shrimp. Despite being a touch uneven, the steak was prepared medium-rare as requested. Moreover, it had a nice char as well as being properly seasoned. Best of all, it was tender and juicy. As for the shrimp, they had a light snap while being very garlicky. We didn't like the garlic bread though as it was not toasted enough. Now for myself, I had the Salmon and Shrimp. I'll be blunt here - the salmon sucked. It was already dead to begin with, why did they have to kill it again? It was woefully overcooked (and too quickly/hot, hence the coagulated protein), bland and dry. Yet in the end, we accepted the food for what it was. It's not gourmet, nor is it even far removed from home-cooking. But it serves to feed people at a very reasonable cost.
- Good service
- Decent decor
- Underwhelming eats
- Cheap, but the larger plates are not