Westlake: Merge your favorite Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese and sushi restaurants, and you get Vieng’s Asian Bistro. It’s one-stop Asian dining with a big menu that spans fried rice and noodle dishes, curry specials, pho and pad thai.
Timothy Ly, who also owns Pad Thai in Hudson and Fairlawn and Thai Gourmet in Stow and Independence, is the man behind Crocker Park’s mix of the Far East and Southeast Asia. Last year, he hollowed out the former Claddagh Irish Pub space, replacing Celtic decor with red light fixtures and lanterns, Terra cotta-like statues and water features.
One warning: The zen vibe can easily be disrupted by the lengthy menu, so it’s best to know what you’re hungry for before sitting down.
The sushi menu (prices range from $5 to $14) is a great place to start, especially the unagi roll ($7) with sweet barbecued eel.
If you’re visiting at lunchtime, the sushi lunchbox ($12) is a great sampling of raw bar items. Divided into four compartments, the box includes three pieces of California roll, seaweed salad, raw tuna, salmon and white fish with cucumber, and tempura shrimp with fried veggies.
Speaking of vegetables, those that comprised our vegetable stir-fry ($10) and asparagus stir-fry ($13 with chicken, pork, beef or tofu) were cooked to perfect crispness, giving each bite a crunch that complemented the tangy wine sauce.
If you have the choice to dine for lunch or dinner, we suggest the latter for the atmosphere. Dark windows make the lighting even more dramatic and transform Vieng’s from just another shopping-center restaurant into a sleek bistro.