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LAND thai kitchen report -very long

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LAND thai kitchen report -very long

kitnimbus | Mar 6, 2005 10:38 AM

First of all, full disclosure: the chef/owner of Land is my friend's brother...My judgement may be a little biased because I want them to succeed and also because they may have taken special care with our food...That being said, we had a wonderful meal.

1st course: Mixed appetizer platter & spicy beef salad.
The mixed appetizers consisted of chicken curry puffs, shrimp parcels and vegetable dumplings. The curry puffs and the shrimp parcels were really good, savory & crispy with lots of flavor. The vegetable dumplings were so-so; tender dumpling skin but bland vegetable filling. The interesting thing about the platter was the three dipping sauces it came with: excellent cucumber-rice vinegar sauce, average black soy sauce, and something that tasted like really good key lime pie. It turned out to be kaffir lime curd and was so good, I had to restain myself from licking it out of the dish...

The spicy beef salad kicked our butts...Since they knew us, they made it thai-spicy. It was far spicier than anything I have eaten at Sri...Punch-you-in-the-lips spicy...awesome! The beef was tender, the watercress and apples crispy and the ground rice gave it a pleasing texture.

Unfortunately, as the chef told us, they are afraid to make it thai-spicy for most customers...When they first opened, they kept the spicing mild but got lots of complaints from people who though it was bland. Now they have raised the spice level, but are getting complaints that its too spicy..In fact, the table next to us assued their waitress that they loved spicey and wanted their beef salad thai-spicy. So of course, when it came out, they complained that it was too spicy...I guess that fellow hounds will have to rely on the old trick of visting several times so that the staff knows you and understands that you really like thai-spicy food.

Main course: Drunken Noodles (Pad Kee Mao) with chicken and Wok Cashew Nut with Shrimp. Both were really good. Kee Mao had a strong taste of chili and thai basil, with homemade wheat noodles that were thicker and less broad than the usual noodles. Not as spicy as the salad, but very flavorful. Huge pieces of crisp chinese broccoli. The wok cashew nut was more similar to an american chinese dish (a little on the sweet side),but good plum-chili flavor from the sauce and the shrimp were very tender. I don't know if we got larger portions than usual (I suspect we might have), but at this point we had sort of a problem...As we wanted to show David and Wendy how much we liked the food, we felt compelled to eat everything. But the portions were so large, that we were quickly running out of room. Life is difficult...

Dessert: Thai coffee creme brulee and caramel ice cream. The ice cream was very good. The creme brulee was amazing. Very rich and dark with a more texture more like pudding than creme brulee...Best of all, it gave me enough energy to drag my overstuffed self to the subway for the long ride back to Queens..

Overall: Tradionalists may be disapointed in Land, because it is a modern take on classic thai dishes. I really liked it, however, and thought that it was interesting and a nice contrast to the more traditional food at Sripraphai...

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