For the past 6 or-so years, my parents and I have been in a love/not-so-love relationship with Kansas City’s Thai staple, Lulu’s. I have many fond ties (Thais?) to the restaurant, including a first date or two and many a First Friday. Perhaps that’s why I keep coming back, year after year, through good times and better.
Since first moving to St. Louis (which has an amazing batch of Thai restaurants on Grand Street) and more recently to New York (enough said), I’ve become a bit of an Asiatic snob and, thus, may be judging my most recent trip to Lulu’s a bit too harshly. It may also have something to do with the fact that I branched away from their amazing (and my staple) tofu basil fried rice (extra spicy) and opted instead for chicken red curry this time around. In retrospect, the food was all fine. But keeping in mind that a Thai restaurant with a good ambiance is hard to come by in Kansas City, it was actually pretty great.
We started with a notable pair of shrimp spring rolls-made so by their immense size and tasty pair of dipping sauces. My mom, a devout lover of Tom Yum soup, went for a large bowl of it along with a side of rice to dump in for added heartiness. As previously mentioned, Lulu’s red curry had me yearning for her basil fried rice, but regardless, it left me warm and satisfied, and with a carry out container for another day’s lunch
But perhaps the most memorable aspect of this time’s visit was Lulu’s new locale! Once situated amongst a batch of indie galleries, salons, shops and the Architectural Salvage on Southwest Boulevard, Lulu’s has recently moved about a block down into a shiny new loft-like space replete with tons more seating. This is likely to be welcome news to First Friday-frequenters who once had to wait in long lines for Lulu’s excellent happy hour once monthly. The new digs (and spanky-new bar chock-full of Boulevard ales!) should promise shorter lines on those busy Fridays.
To the chagrin of who looked to be the owner, after lunch I (catlike) stalked around the new space snapping pictures of the many delightful eating nooks and Crossroads-appropriate decor to share with you, lovely readers. Yet, I managed to get out before he had to escort me out.
All in all, while my standards may have changed, it goes without saying that I will return the next chance I have to go home. It’s everything a local eatery should be: accessible, friendly, consistent and laden with memories.
Location: 230 Central St., Kansas City, MO
Price: Under $15
Phone: (816) 474-8424
New Website: Coming Soon