The rare triple threat (and that’s not a compliment) in Woodland Hills.
Allow me to stir uncomfortably as I type this.
I walked into this place, somewhat uncomfortably. It was the recommendation of a friend, but it was not a place I would have gone into on my own.
If you’ve been reading this blog, you know how I feel about pan-Asian places, i.e. Places that have semi-traditional Chinese fare on the same menu as a Sushi selection.
My feeling has been, concentrate on the one thing, do the one culture you’re good at. The one cuisine you know in your bones. If you have love for it, trust me, that love will get through to your customers, and you will be rewarded.
But no. This is America, and in America…we only do bigger is better.
Well, it actually isn’t, but…we just think it is.
So, don’t just be a Chinese Restaurant, be a Chinese and Japanese Restaurant.
And in the case of Red Ginger, be a Chinese, Japanese and Thai Restaurant all rolled into one.
Now, you got to the Website they’re bragging on their Thai Rolls (whatever they mean by that). But you look at the rest of the menu, and you see a couple of…well, what I can call Chinese American classics mixed in with some very respectable Thai Dishes.
There’s that Mongolian Beef again. What exactly do people see in this dish? Every time I’ve had it, I’ve wanted to slit someone’s wrists.
Anyway, Red Ginger in the end is a…place. You go there to have a good time. At least that’s how they want to sell themselves, as a neighborhood Party place where you can get a little sauced on Sake or Beer, and have a bit of Thai goodness. If I were them, I’d dump the Chinese and the Japanese and go with what they’re actually pretty good at, Thai food.
But we’ll never know, because the customers of Woodland Hills have apparently insisted it be this way.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: I actually tried the Three Flavor Chicken, which on the one hand wasn’t back, but was Chinese-American sickly sweet. Their Wonton Soup (see, again with the Chinese-American) actually comes with Wontons and Shrimp, which I really should have read about before I took a bite. This too had a nice, but oddly sweet flavor, which I’m sure goes nicely with my Epinephrine pen.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: This is usually the space where I say something snarky like “go somewhere else”. I’m not going to do that this time. Yes, I was disappointed, but there is a good straight ahead Thai Restaurant in this place. It’s worth saving. I’m even sure that’s how they started out, but then merged with the tastes of it’s apparently non-Asian clientele. I wish circumstances where different.
PARKING: Good but limited. Red Ginger is part of a strip mall, and has it’s own lot, but there aren’t a lot of space. Not Spitz in Eagle Rock few, but few enough to get crowded out. After that it’s street parking on Ventura Blvd.
22984 Ventura Blvd
Woodland Hills, CA 91364
Phone: (818) 591-8055
Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30 am – 3 pm
Dinner: Mon-Thu, Sun 5 pm – 9 pm and Fri-Sat 5 pm – 10 pm