Asian / New York / Restaurants/Bars

Lan Larb

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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