I am KICKING MYSELF for not trying Lan Larb sooner. Here’s what happened: When I moved into my neighborhood 4.5 years ago, I found my favorite local Thai spot and stuck with it. Lan Larb was not yet open, and when it did open, I had already become loyal to my other takeout spot. Then about a year ago, my spot closed and I’ve been trying out all the other Thai places in the neighborhood in an effort to replace it. I wasn’t really a fan of any of them. I don’t know why I saved Lan Larb for last. Perhaps it’s because I assumed the whole menu would be larb and I wasn’t sure if that was my thing when I just wanted a go-to spot for some basic pad see ew. I should have listened to my doorman when he told me over two years ago how good it was. The doormen are always right.
I ordered a lot because I was at work late and wouldn’t be eating til 9:30 PM so I was starving. Also, I wanted to get a nice cross-section of the menu. I started with the crab rangoons solely because I had been craving something guilty. I was happy to find that the filling had more texture and flavor than the crab rangoons found at most take out places. I also really liked the duo of dipping sauces.
Next I ordered the larb because I figured ordering the restaurant’s namesake was a must. Larb is basically a ground meat salad. I went with the pork version and thought there was so much flavor, especially with the zingy lime dressing. I expected and hoped for a bit more spice, but I thought the flavor was on point. I’ve never had larb before so I’m no expert, but I can at least tell you that I really like how this tasted.
Finally, I got the chicken pad thai. Basic, yes, but it’s important that my local Thai takeout spot can make the fan favorites the way I like them. No complaints here.
This food was even better than my originally Thai place that closed. I should never have waited so long to try it. I have a new neighborhood fave: Lan Larb is definitely the best Thai in Murray Hill, no contest.