The Orient, 319 York Road, Towson, 296-9000....


The Orient, 319 York Road, Towson, 296-9000. This downtown Towson restaurant offers a great number of Chinese dishes and a sampling of Japanese fare. The Appetizer Tempura ($4.95) from the Japanese menu was a beautiful, tasteful way to begin; a wicker basket brimmed with wonderfully breaded vegetables and a couple of shrimp. Unfortunately, the rest of the meal was not as enjoyable. Our soups and entrees lacked flavor; we had long waits between courses and when the waiter was around, he seemed in a hurry not to be. $$moderate. (Last visited 1/91.) Lucky Inn, North Plaza Mall, 8924 Waltham Wood Road, 665-8383. The mall location doesn't seem promising, but the Lucky Inn is unassumingly pretty, and the food (while uneven) is awesomely portioned. Seafood Soong had a generic Cantonese flavor and tasteless shellfish, but most of the meal was fine: savory, skewered Java beef, crisp wonton wafers filled with shrimp and crab, and Szechuan lo mein just spicy enough to let you know you're not in Canton anymore. $$moderate. (Last visited 1/91.)

LYNN WILLIAMS Bangkok Oriental, 8043 Ritchie Highway, Pasadena, 766-0973. Bangkok Oriental offers Thai food in addition to interesting, assertive Oriental dishes that incorporate European methods and spices. We liked everything. Start out with shrimp cakes. Then try the "Thai bouillabaisse;" or anise duckling, sauced with star anise, caramel, and spiced with garlic, coriander and bean sauce; or Mae-Yong pork, sauced with a paste of ginger and chili, lime leaves, lemongrass and curry. Intriguing. $$moderate. (Last visited 12/90.)


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