The mostly Malaysian menu at Laut also ventures into Thai territory and even sushi, but never mind all that. This year-old restaurant is Malaysian, from its owner to its serving staff, and hounds say that’s what you should be ordering here.
Sour, pungent asam laksa (fish noodle soup) and nasi lemak (coconut rice), highlighted by great ikan bilis (dried anchovies), are right on target, bigjeff reports. Pan says ikan asam pedas (hot-sour fish) and kangkung belacan (stir-fried water spinach with shrimp paste) are good and authentically flavored, and pulut hitam (glutinous rice porridge dessert) is creamy and coconutty, the best he’s had in New York.
Pan, a longtime lover of Malaysian food, also checked out past hound favorite Taste Good in Queens recently, and finds it in fine form. Among other things, he recommends tender, long-cooked beef rendang; spicy, shrimpy sambal assam squid; and complex, sour/sweet achar (pickled vegetable). Spicing is a bit tame, he adds, but overall “it all tasted good and real.”
15 E. 17th Street (between Broadway and Fifth Avenue), Manhattan
Taste Good [Elmhurst]
82-18 45th Avenue (near Broadway), Elmhurst, Queens