Bear Bites: LaDDa Bistro
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In the competitive restaurant scene of downtown Macon, there are already a few Asian restaurants that contend to distinguish themselves from just some rice and chicken place. Self-proclaimed as “the next best trend to hit downtown Macon,” LaDDa Bistro on Cherry Street breaks outside the normal barriers of Asian food, offering a huge menu full of both Thai dishes and Southern specialties.
Modern, simple and elegant. These words describe the simple and comfortable dining area, decorated wood paneling and beautiful lamps.
The Pad Thai
Anyone who knows Thai food knows about pad thai. For those who don’t, pad thai is a dish made with noodles, bean sprouts, fried egg, green onions, cilantro, lime, crushed peanuts and a peanut sauce. Peter Garcia, the photographer for the evening, tried the pad thai. He claimed that it had a great balance, and his only complaint is that his shrimp was not de-tailed.
Good duck is something else I look for in a good Thai place. I ordered the crispy duck, and true to its name, it was cooked to a perfect crisp. The orange sauce, while not particularly striking, paired excellently with the duck which exuded the unique flavor of that particular poultry.
The Little Things
Often times what makes a restaurant great are simple little additions to the menu that put them above their peers. In the case of LaDDa, I enjoyed the Thai coffee, which was incredibly strong and sweet at the same time.
With the meal, they brought out their homemade sweet and sour sauce, as well as red pepper flakes and chili paste to add a nice kick to whatever you wanted.
Also, they offer a mini cake for just one dollar. The mini cake is like an Asian tiramisu with strawberry syrup, and it ended the meal on just the right sweet note.
Curry is another essential for any Thai place. Those searching for an extra spicy curry may be let down by the overall sweet curry of LaDDa.
“I personally enjoy spicier curry, more like one that will burn your throat,” said Mo Qureshi, a freshman friend of mine who ordered the curry.
The group that went with me to try LaDDa was divided as to whether the service was good or bad. I personally thought it was very slow, especially considering the place was not crowded while we were there, but our waitress did make sure our drinks were filled. However, she was too soft spoken for people at the end of the table to hear.
Beef and Broccoli
I know what you are thinking: how can one mess up beef and broccoli? Well, this beef and broccoli was simply unremarkable. “Not much flavor,” said Matthew Boldan, another freshman friend of mine who ate with us.
“The whole experience was la-di-da. It was nonchalant, casual, blasé,” said Caroline Kittrell, a freshman pre-med student who also ate with us. This statement accurately sums up what was a far above average food experience, yet there was no one thing in particular that was a homerun.
All said and done, LaDDa is really a great experience if one is willing to go out of their comfort zone just a bit to try new things like a Thai coffee or pad thai or anything else that is outside the norm. I can not say it is the next best thing downtown, but it is well worth a try, and I would certainly go back.