Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Year of the Monkey Brings Bamboo Luau's Closure

Despite a full parking lot, Bamboo Luau's Chinatown has closed 
Popular late night Chinese eatery quietly closes.

Bamboo Luau's Chinatown, a popular Chinese eatery on Cheshire Bridge Road, has closed.  The restaurant, which had been in business for about 30 years, reportedly closed a few days ago.  No signage on the building reflects the [permanent] closure other than a simple sign saying "closed" that on all other days would indicate a typical non-business hours closure.

Calls to the business went unanswered for the past few days, so I made a personal trip over at which point an employee confirmed the closure is permanent. 
Bamboo Luau was located in the 2300 block of Cheshire Bridge Road in "Sam's Corner," a small  strip center also home to Starship, Galaxy, a massage parlor, tattoo joint and body piercing business.  

Information online suggests a fairly recent change in ownership of Bamboo Luau (in the past few years or so) whereby the service, quality and health standards, among other things, suffered.  

One of the major appeals of the restaurant was that it was open until 3AM daily.  These hours seem to have been quietly modified, although it's unclear what their most recent hours were or if they maintained them on a regular basis.  

Although the restaurant reportedly most recently achieved a 99 score from the health department, the restaurant had scores of 58 and 62 in 2013 and 2014 respectively.  The 2014 score prompted WSB-TV to investigate.  

The inspection report indicated roaches were found in food and on the prep table in the kitchen, several dented cans of food on the shelf and a heavily soiled basket of egg rolls.  

While I had only eaten at the restaurant a couple of times, and not recently, I did find some rather telling reviews from recent guest experiences. 

In one TripAdvisor review from April 25th 2016, user "JH" left the following: 

"Bamboo Luau used to be my favorite but really inconsistent food and jacked up service has accompanied the new owners, I don't know what happened to the original owners but they ran a first class place.  The last time I walked in there was no one, I mean no one in the dinning room. The cashier was the waitress and the food was a reservice of yesterday's cook."

A Yelp review from June 19th 2016 from "Scott F." said:

"I should have turned around and left when I walked into Bamboo Luau yesterday evening and noticed only one table occupied in the restaurant. I was greeted by a nice lady that sat me right by the front door. Two booths down a couple was eating dinner, and casually cussing up a storm while I watched the panhandlers walk back and forth outside in front of the window at my table. They gather outside the door on the side of the parking lot. I ordered the egg drop soup, which was very mediocre. The usual odd cornstarch thickened yellow broth with egg strands suspended within. Along with it I received a heaping dish of VERY stale fried noodles. I mentioned it to me server who replaced it after I finished my soup with more mildly stale noodles. Then came my entree, honey walnut prawns. "Golden jumbo prawns with homemade honey walnut in a light cream sauce" The shrimp weren't golden, but rather wet and sweet with no crispness at all. Quite unappealing. I think my favorite part of the meal was the steamed rice.  

I must mention tho, that their health score was very decent. A current 99, grade "A". No bad scores in the past few years. Maybe I'll try it again sometime, but not in the near future."

Will you miss Bamboo Luau's Chinatown?  Where do you go casual Chinese?  What would you like to see open in place of Bamboo Luau's Chinatown?

Please share your thoughts below.


Anonymous said...

They were always open past 3AM on weekends. Su's, another chines spot further down on Piedmont is open until 3AM issh as well.

Ham said...

I remember seeing the place, but never stopped in. However, I still hate to see it close because I fear as older businesses close the area will become more homogenized and we lose one more unique Atlanta neighborhood. I realize it is a very desirable stretch of road and after all we can never have too many apartments, mattress stores and storage buildings.

Anonymous said...

Good Americanized Chinese food is becoming very hard to find ITP.
The new eateries tend to be too foodie (trendy).

Anonymous said...

The Mandarin Palace in Tucker's Northlake Festival appears to have closed. At first it said closed for remodeling but now there are signs announcing a new Asian Bistro or something like that.

Sad to see Mandarin Palace go. Haven't found another good Chinese Restaurant in that area.

Anonymous said...

Hong Kong Harbor is on Cheshire Bridge not far from Bamboo Luau. On the weekend the tables are full of Chinese families which is obviously a good sign.

C. E. Wyatt said...

Hong Kong Harbor is horrible. Just because you may see some Asians eating there doesn't mean it is good. You see a bunch of Americans eating at Golden Corral, too, that doesn't mean it is great American food. If you must eat Americanized Chinese food, PF Chang's for classic or Panda Express for fast are far better choices. Good more-authentic Chinese food isn't just for foodies, though.

Phaedra said...

So sorry to hear of this closure. It was not so far from me and was the perfect place to get some standard Chinese take out. If you wanted to eat in it was always fun to have one of their gigantic flaming concoctions served up by the always fun Donald. So sorry I didn't get to say goodbye...