10200 102 Ave. Edmonton – Website
Date of Visit: July 5,2015
Lazia is located in the Edmonton City Center Shopping Mall and I probably wouldn’t have included the place on my restaurant itinerary but my hotel is located in the same building complex and so it made for a handy spot for a quick lunch…
Ambience and Service
The interior features a very colorful and modern décor with some unusual fixtures that give the place the air of a nightclub rather than a restaurant. In the center, there is a brightly lit bar with multiple television screens above it all tuned to different channels with the sound turned off. There was music playing the whole time I was there but thankfully it was turned low enough to not be too intrusive.
The menu is a sort of Asian-Mediterranean fusion and when I arrived at noon on a Sunday, I was given the brunch menu. Most of the items, however seemed to be very much the same as those appearing on the regular menu that is posted by the front door. There is a pretty comprehensive selection of wines, quite a few beers, bot on tap and in bottles, as well as some interesting mixed drinks.
The place was almost empty when I arrived and remained so during my visit. My server was a very friendly young woman who was attentive but a little unsure of the wine and beer list. When she couldn’t answer one of my questions, however, the bartender came right over and proved to be very knowledgeable and helpful. All in all, the service was very good.
Stuffed Shanghai Scallion Pancake – This consisted of halibut chunks in an ‘Asian Remoulade’ between two scallion pancakes and served alongside spring greens in an ice wine vinaigrette. The pancakes were quite spongy (and a bit doughy tasting as well) and they were much more like a western pancake than the usual Chinese Scallion cake I expected. There was no scallion taste and the ‘scallion’ actually appeared to be dried chive flakes from a jar.
The halibut chunk stuffing between the pancakes was not at peak freshness and was a little dry but it was still quite tasty. I am not really sure what went into the ‘remoulade’ but it seemed to be tahini with a little soy. It was very mild, to the point of being bland actually, and it really didn’t add a lot to the overall effect, in my opinion.
The side salad was basically a Mesclun type mix and the dressing didn’t betray any hint of the ice wine it is supposed to feature. The cucumber made a very attractive ‘basket’ for the greens but, all in all, the salad typified the entire dish in that the presentation was good but the actual substance mediocre. I gave this selection a 2 out of 5.
Beijing Style Chicken and Shrimp Towers – This selection was composed of three skewers, each of which held a ball of honeydew melon, a grilled shrimp, and a small roulade of chicken in puff pastry. Each ‘tower’ rested in a small puddle of what was described on the menu as a ‘sambal mayo’. The shrimp was grilled quite nicely, without being remarkable, while the chicken roulade was quite dry and had a scorched taste. The melon was… well, a piece of melon and the mayo was just a basic mayo with a faintly spicy taste. The size and shape of the skewers made it impossible to taste all three components together without taking them off and cutting them with a knife and fork so it was difficult to get any sense of how they complimented each other. Again, this was a very nicely presented dish but the execution made for a flawed tasting experience. I also rated this at a 2 out of 5.
My first impression of Lazia was not especially good as far as the food went and I think the kitchen could pay more attention to substance over form. That being said though, I must be fair and take into consideration the fact that I had a very limited sampling of their menu. I otherwise liked the place and found it pleasant with good service. I will return to sample a few more of the interesting beers they have on offer and I may even try something else from the menu. Accordingly, I rate it at a respectable 3 out of 5.