Land Northeast Thai
This restaurant is closed!
1565 2nd Ave (81st St)
City: New York, NY
Phone: (212) 439-1847
Site: Visit the restaurant site
Chef: David Bank
Area: East 80s
Entree Price: $10-15
Payment: Amex Visa Mastercard
I’m a very predictable dining companion when it comes to eating Thai food; I always order the pad thai. I feel the quality of that staple is an indication of the entire restaurant, and I judge it accordingly. Maybe that’s unfair, but it won’t stop me from continuing to do it. One problem with this strategy is that I’ve been cursed with taste buds that can only handle mild dishes, so if we’re talking about traditional pad thai (meaning: spicy), I run into a roadblock.
Land Thai presented me with this exact issue; while not spicy by most people’s standards, Land’s pad thai had a definitive kick that I couldn’t appreciate. Of course, my extremely low spice tolerance isn’t the restaurant’s fault, and my dining companion loved the savory taste. The next time I visited the cozy, dimly lit restaurant tucked in next to Blockheads on 2nd Ave, I sampled another dish in the noodle family (all $11-12). The pad see ew was much more up my alley, with a smooth, flavorful sauce and thick, wide noodles. The broccoli to beef ratio was excellent—just about equal—and the portion was big enough so that if I hadn’t been so happy to have a meal my weak taste buds could enjoy that I easily cleaned the plate, I could have brought some of it home for the next day’s lunch.
Like many Thai restaurants, Land has a lunch special ($9) that includes an appetizer and a wide variety of entrée choices, such as curry, fried rice, and a less-common dish called wok charred with squid (which is designated with 3 stars for spiciness—so I won’t be ordering that anytime soon). The lunch special is available on weekends, too, which is a big plus. During dinner hours, your options expand to Land Specials ($18-20), including atlantic salmon in a caramel soy sauce and pan seared duck breast.
While there are several choices for Thai in the neighborhood that may be cheaper, Land’s consistent quality keeps people coming back. The restaurant also has a small outdoor seating area, which is a nice feature you don’t often see at Thai places, so it gets an extra point for that, too (although with the 2nd avenue construction currently taking place in front of it, the view isn’t much to talk about).
Review By: Chelsea Pengal