Dragging Bowl: Bland Food, Hip Surroundings

The shrimp is perfectly cooked and the pad thai is edible -- if you squirt a whole lot of Sriracha hot sauce in it. I love the giant aquarium and the cool ambiance at Dragon Bowl Asian Bistro at 11th St. in the Heights. Beer by the bottle, good-looking clientele -- what else could you ask for? Oh, the food. Well, it's bland. But this ain't exactly Chinatown, you know.

I made the mistake of ordering the he spring rolls. I loved the fact that they were soft and freshly made rather than stiff from sitting in a refrigerator for hours. If only there was something inside of them besides noodles and a couple of leaves. The peanut dipping sauce tasted like it contained a lot of Jif and not much Asian spice.

I understand that people who live in the Heights haven't got time to drive to Bellaire every time they want some noodles, but there are better alternatives - for instance, the fancy Vietnamese restaurant called Pagoda across the street from Cadillac Bar off Shepherd at I-10.

Or maybe I ordered the wrong thing. Is there something at Dragon Bowl you think I should try?

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