June 22, 2007

The Wheel of Life [Irvine]

I didn't know many places with spring rolls in Irvine and found this place after some scouring. Some loved it, others didn't and I figured that the only way I'll really know if it's good or not is to go try it out myself.

Initially, I thought the sign out front said Vietnamese Cuisine but it actually says Vegetarian Cuisine.

I was greeted warmly upon arrival but after seeing that credit cards are not accepted for orders under $20, I had to make a detour to the ATM and come back. Five minutes wasted.

Most of the dishes on the menu are around $8 and are meant to be served family-style. They also offer a "lunch special" of food from the steam table -- i.e. combination plates of 2 or 3 at $8 or $9, respectively. I deterred from that because of the fast-food like appearance and got what I came here for along with a Thai iced tea ($2.50).

The iced tea was extremely sweet. I don't have Thai iced tea often, because the color stirs me, so I'm not exactly sure if they're all supposed to taste like this. I got my four spring rolls ($8.00) after a little bit of wait and dug in. The rolls were tightly tucked and looked appealing but my tongue says differently. I found that there was a blatant lack of fillings and not like the spring rolls I've had in Westminster or Garden Grove. Is it because this is a Thai/Chinese restaurant and not a Vietnamese one? The rolls had dark-leafed lettuce, cucumbers, fake chicken and nothing more! Where was the mint? Where was the crunchy stuff? The vegetarian chicken was decent -- I've had better fake chicken elsewhere. The sauce it same with was topped with chopped peanuts and had a spicy kick to it.

Even though I only had an appetizer for lunch, it was filling. But, I do feel that I was grossly overcharged for the quality of food I received. Their other dishes may have more potential -- I see that many other reviewers favor the pad thai.

The Wheel of Life
14370 Culver Dr., Suite 2G
Irvine, CA 92604
(949) 551-8222

No comments: