Visited Nana, the new Pan Asian/Thai place on Fifth Avenue, Saturday night and give it a thumbs up. The food is fresh, flavorful and very distinctive.
We started with the hot and sour soup with shrimp, which was great. The perfect combination of spicy and sour and the shrimp were quite large. Also had the spicy squid, which was presented in a little basket of arugula, and the chicken and shrimp steamed dumplings.
Both appetizers were great, really fresh and tasty. For the main we had the green curry shrimp and the pad thai, which is actually on the menu as a side dish but is big enough for an entree. Both were also good. The shrimp were in an intense curry broth with eggplant and asparagus, all cooked to perfection. The pad was good as well.
Beyond the food, the place is kind of scene, clearly aimed at the young set. Pulsating music blares from the speakers and it looks like a deejay booth is set up in the bar area for late nights. We didn't see the deejay since we left by around 9:30.
Given the scene, this place is very fast paced -- a bit like eating in a club or disco. And I would say that is one of the downsides. The service appears to keep pace with the music, which means everything is served -- and taken away -- with almost lightning speed. It's great to be served fast, but it did seem like the waitresses were intent on pushing us out and turning the table. I'd like to be able to linger a bit longer than an hour for a dinner that costs around $45.
Another caveat: the bar is great, but the bartender isn't. They have a great sampling of sakes and Japanese beers and some wines, all displayed for all to see. But when we asked the bartender what one of those great looking bottles was, she said: ``Some grainy drink from Japan.'' Not exactly helpful.
All in all, though, we would return. Prices: $5-7 for appetizers. Entrees: $9-$15. Sides: $7-$9.