A good Southeast Asian restaurant isn't just the ideal place to practice close-up magic on unsuspecting patrons, it's also a great spot to meet friends and share Burton Gilliam gossip. Satiate while you socialize with today's deal: for $20, you get $45 worth of sumptuous cuisine at Red Lantern on Winslow Street in Redwood City. Meals are prepared with organic love under the influences of local produce and authentic ambience.
An arena of visual decadence is enhanced by the aromas that emanate from Red Lantern's lunch and dinner menus. Flavorful soups pave the way toward crisp salads such as the pawon salad with freshly sliced cabbage and veggies under an organic coconut krachai vinaigrette ($8). A full fleet of regional wines accentuate meticulously designed plates such as pepes udang, a helping of sambal-chili and coconut-milk marinated prawns wrapped in banana leaf ($20), or Sarawak samosas filled with duck and wild mushrooms and partnered with a jicama-and-cucumber salad ($11). Martabak unites a Singaporean griddlecake with spiced lamb and mango chutney like long-lost Siamese triplets ($10). Appetites of the vegetarian persuasion can happily feast upon adobo eggplant tossed in a wok with garlic and lemongrass ($8), among others.
Red Lantern provides an uncommon, two-tiered dining experience in an exquisite environment where the art of beautifully prepared dishes only adds to the surrounding ambience. Enormous concentric lanterns float above the ground level like curious flying jellyfish admiring the view of geometrically patterned wooden chairs and tables forged from reclaimed, petrified wood. The warm tones are shocked by the presence of green plants, lime caverns in the walls, and authentic Filipino artwork.
- In his own restaurant, [executive chef Daniel] Sudar prizes freshness over all. Unlike many Southeast Asian restaurateurs, he eschews the mother sauce that, with small additions, goes into many dishes. It makes everything taste vaguely the same, Sudar says. At Red Lantern, the sauce for every menu item is made from scratch, often utilizing herbs such as lemongrass and Thai basil grown in the restaurant's rooftop garden. – Karola Saekel, San Francisco Chronicle
- The kitchen’s skill with authentic Southeast Asian flavors reflects the cultural diversity of the region. Offerings on the whimsically labeled menu are often designed to be shared, and in the case of the appetizers, are ideal for those who enjoy hands-on eating. – Gayot
- From the very beginning of our dinner, we had impeccable service. They catered to our needs and the food was fantastic. – OpenTable User who dined on 3/6/10