Best Move (2003)
Though it was conceptually groundbreaking when it fused tastes from Thailand, Korea, China, Laos, Malaysia, Vietnam and India under one roof, Liberty was mostly a bore when it opened. Aside from the birdcages posing as chandeliers with incarcerated amber bulbs and a swell, spacious patio with a huge aluminum washtub posing as a koi pond, there was little of interest in the cramped Lower Greenville quarters. The new Liberty is almost thoroughly denuded of such whimsy. Slipped into the two-decked Pavilion strip mall on Lovers Lane near Inwood Road, the new Liberty Noodles is at least a washtub above the old. And the strip-mall funk lifts once you slip through the door. The flickering birdcages are still there. But Liberty no longer flaunts self-conscious "ain't we hip?" flamboyance. Its style comes across more as a self-deprecating smirk, an acknowledgment of twisted excesses of youth. In short, Liberty has grown up, and nowhere is this more evident than in the food, which is brighter, brisker, tighter and tastier than ever. Promise realized is always the best move.