It was cold and windy outside, which made entering the warm, celestial vibe of the Luna Grill and Diner in Arlington’s Shirlington Village all the better. With a diverse, “All-American” menu, Luna is a nice place to have breakfast, lunch or dinner.Chances are, if you want it, they have it, and it’s likely to please.
The servers, bus boys and staff were all friendly. To boot, the restaurant looked clean and brand new. Large suns and moons dress the restaurant’s walls, and a painted faux-window looks out over a blue sky and calm bay – soothing for a Winter retreat.
There is a bar at the back of the restaurant which displays a good number of drink selections. Above the bar is an array of colorful planets that pop out of a dark background.
The menu is eclectic and very reasonably priced. Appetizers are between $4 – 9, and Luna Grill has the usual American fare including wings, calamari, nachos and mozzarella sticks. They all come in large portions and are stacked high.
Since it was cold, I noticed the bowl of Chili Con Carne ($5.95). Prompt service took less than two minutes to deliver the bowl of piping hot, flavorful but not too spicy chili, topped off with sour cream and melted cheese, and tortilla chips on the side – chili lover’s bliss.
The main menu ranges in choices from sandwiches, wraps, burgers, build-your-own pasta dishes to fuller entrees like Pan-fried Tilapia with Tequila Lime Sauce ($13.95) or a N.Y.-style Strip Steak ($14.95). I went with the more-than-satisfying Meat Lasagna ($10.95) with garlic bread. The marinara sauce was rich, and the pasta tasted fresh and homemade, loaded with beef.
After making it through the meat lasagna and (almost completely) through the chili, I was stuffed. To top off the meal, however, I ordered a slice of Luna’s Apple Pie ($3.95). The dessert came out warm, with a side of whipped cream and a garnishing of strawberries. It was a good and serviceable pie, but not great. I mean, would it kill them to make a latticed crust? All in all, it was a great meal, though. They also have cappuccinos, lattes and specialty coffee drinks, such as a Italian Coffee ($6.96) which is Frangelico, orange curacao and coffee.
I visited the Luna Grill and Diner on a Sunday and it was busy, but not packed. However, had I gone on a Monday or Tuesday, I could have had my choice of pasta and sauce for half price after 5 p.m. Regular price is only $6.95, so how could you beat that? Additional toppings, like mushrooms or peppers, cost a little extra per choice.
Luna Grill and Diner has a decent, reasonably priced wine and drink selection, featuring weekly happy hour specials.
Then diners have a daily selection between two hearty choices: Blue Plate specials and their vegetarian-friendly equivalent, the Green Plate Specials. For $9.95, try Tuesday’s blue plate special, country fried chicken with mashed potatoes and broccoli, or the green plate special, baked eggplant parmigiana, served with linguini in a marinara sauce.
The Luna Grill and Diner is a great place with few extra frills but a solid menu, especially if you don’t want to break the bank, or you’re just too tired to cook on a cold day.
Luna Grill & Diner
4024 Campbell Ave., Arlington, VA
www.lunagrillanddiner.com • 703-379-7173
Monday – Thursday: 8 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Sunday: 9 a.m. – 10 p.m.