Monday, April 12, 2010

Land Thai Lunch Special & Two Little Red Hens

Land Thai was discovered in a random restaurant happenstance from ages ago.  It had a sleek sign that simply said "LAND" on the outside, and the inside decor was completely sleek and cute to boot.  I thought it looked pricey when I first walked in, but little did I know that it would have one of my favorite lunch specials in the city, available any day of the week. 

For $8 you can get a pre-fixe lunch with choice of appetizer and entree.  That's right.  Eight bucks.  You can barely get a Jack-in-the-Box value meal for that price nowadays!

Besides the great lunch special, Land Thai has the most delicious Thai iced tea I've had so far in the city.  I don't know what their special recipe is, but I have an inkling it automatically tastes better being served in this cup:

Sometimes I have to pace myself and really enjoy this sucker, but it tastes SO creamy and good.

They have a nice variety of lunch menu options in their pre-fixe.  Appetizers include veggie dumplings, salad and lemongrass soup.  Entrees feature the standard fare: green curry with chicken, pad thai with shrimp, drunken noodle, pad see ew and a few other options.  They also generally have a daily special for both an appetizer and an entree to augment the menu offering.

On this day, I decided to try the drunken noodles and their special dumpling of the day, chicken curry.

Don't you love it when your food is so hot it fogs up your camera lens?
That's some fresh cooking.

Chicken dumplings.

Don't you just love their presentation, with the soy sauce in a ceramic soup spoon?  Sure you only get two, but goshdarnit, it's just so cute.  The dumplings themselves were standard fare. Chicken tasted fine, especially with the yummy soy sauce.  Mmmm sodium.

On a later visit, I ordered their veggie dumplings which was woooorlds better than these.  Like PLEASE order veggie dumplings next time.  I didn't take pictures of them because I had no idea they would be such an earthshattering find, but they are made with a delicate and soft green spinach wrapper and filled with shitake mushroom, sweet corn, tofu, peanut and garlic chip; it is all at once sweet, peanut buttery and savory all at the same time.  Amazing.  Top 5 dumplings of my life for sure.  I am going to make my way back there and order them again to show you.  You will die.  (Not really, but close.)

Drunken noodles with chicken.

Drunken noodle detail.

The drunken noodles were far spicier than I had ever imagined without having to tell the waitress: "Make this really spicy, I really mean it," like you normally would with any other Asian restaurant.  It was seriously the spiciest thing I had in a very long while, and therefore it was really good.  Sure my nose ran like a faucet, but boy did my tastebuds sing !

The drunken noodles were chock full of vegetables as you can see from the picture.  It's pretty much a bowl of water chestnuts with a side of noodles.  Really good for those who want a touch of carbs and lots of veggies.  Their green curry and pad thai are also solid, and they are willing to substitute any sort of meat in the dish despite what is listed on the menu.

All in all, if you find yourself on the Upper East Side or Upper West Side, this place is definitely worth checking out for a cheap but classy lunch bite with a cool, clay cup of Thai iced tea.

And bonus: Land Thai is practically neighbors with Two Little Red Hens, a cute, popular bakery, presenting the perfect excuse to eat an unnecessary cupcake if I ever saw one (I didn't really mean that.  Cupcakes are never unnecessary.).

The interior of the bakery is cute with a few tables for eating in.  I got mine to go so no one would realize that both huge cupcakes were ultimately for me.

Bakery box.

My gigantic cupcakes: red velvet + banana, both with cream cheese frosting.

Beautiful icing.

My 'crumby' camera couldn't really focus on this well, but you can take my word for it: it's pretty red.

Hello, banana.

No interior shot of the banana, but it really just looked like the crumbs on top!

The frosting on the cupcakes was so delicious.  Perfectly soft but firm cream cheese frosting, sweet but not too.  The cake themselves were ok.  I was hoping for them to be more moist, especially the banana, but they were a bit on the dry side.  I had such high hopes, knowing so many people love their red velvet, but it really did not pass the mustard muster (is that the right saying? Thanks Diana :). 

In any case, I think there are other delicious options at this bakery.  I had a sample of their chocolate pecan bar, and it was pretty fantastic.  They do serve mini cupcake versions also in case you want a taste before making a bigger investment.

1565 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10028
1652 2nd Avenue
New York, NY
(212) 452-0476


  1. *gush* i totally want that cup!! so unique and darling :)

    you also make me want to go find the nearest cupcake. like, NOW.

  2. also i think it's pass muster... but mustard is totally better. because it's food.

  3. Uhm. That makes so much more sense. I suck at American expressions, haha!