Just inside the entrance to Lemongrass, a pair of autographed, same-day dated photographs hang alongside each other. The odd couple attesting their affection for Lemongrass is lean Viggo Mortensen and lumpy Michael Moore. Yet that unlikely pairing is par for the course at this Asian fusion Short Norther. Here, unusual juxtapositions rule, as on a recent night, when a live piano player made a tinkling segue from Billy Joel to Georges Bizet (what, no Nick Cave?).
A light bluish hue glows unusually on the multicolored walls and hardwood floors of Lemongrass' airy, casual yet theatrical space, and it all makes for the perfect setting for a place that dares an idiosyncratic identity and proudly hosts "Reverse Happy Hour." Thus, starting at 9 p.m., a lengthy list of martinis and glasses of wine is discounted down to a fiver.
A natural accompaniment to, say, a Zen martini (made with green tea liqueur) or a citrusy and pomegranate-liqueured Lemongrass martini is the house Sampler ($10). That uncharacteristically straightforward platter comes with two plump grilled chicken clumps on an Indonesian peanut sauce, two flaky, crispy Seafood Rangoons with meaty middles and a couple of cabbage-filled, bias-cut spring rolls.