I just wanted to report that I had dinner at Lotus Garden last night (I was in Indianapolis after doing a program at IU, and spent Tuesday night in Indy because I had a very early flight out this morning).
Lotus Garden is still doing great "tiki." And to add to the whimsy, there were two Easter bunnies posted on the pillars outside the restaurant.
I had a Navy Grog -- well, actually two. My brother had two Rum Collinses. We always have a little back-and-forth with the Chinese waiters about whether he's ordering a Rum Collins or a "Rum Cow," which is one of those Tiki drinks served in a ceramic coconut shell. He got the Rum Collinses, but it took some explanation and some patience.
We shared two egg rolls and an order of rumaki, and then went on to some Chinese-American classics (chicken almond ding, chicken mushroom chow mein, and mushroom egg foo young, with steamed rice). Everything was delicious, and the service was great.
One of the most amusing and retro things about Lotus Garden is that, after you sit down at the table, they immediately bring you a silver basket full of cellophane-wrapped crackers, plus enough dinner rolls for everyone at the table -- with a separate dish of wrapped butter pats. This is the only Chinese-American restaurant I've ever been to that serves you rolls and butter, regardless of whatever else you intend to order.
And by the way, the "blackboard special" last night was two different cuts of prime rib. Lotus Garden is known for its excellent prime rib, but I've never had it.