On a gorgeous Thursday evening, AV and I were searching for a place to grab a quick dinner before a showing of "I Love You Man." I was googling restaurants near the theater on the UES, and lo and behold, I found out that Land Thai Kitchen has a location a mere few blocks from our destination. Now, as you'll recall, my last review of Land was only so-so, but as part of my near-insatiable recent craving for veggie dumplings, I had begun to long for Land's version of the delectable treat. So we decided to give the UES Land a try.
The dining room is bigger and much more comfortable than the UWS location. There's space between the tables, so you don't feel as though you're sitting in your neighbor's lap. It probably helped that the joint wasn't crowded on a random Thursday night, but nonetheless it was a much nicer space to be in.
We placed our order quickly and waited for the food to arrive. (It's worth noting that when I changed my mind about my entree after we had ordered, the Land staff accommodated my switch with ease and grace.) Shortly, our veggie dumplings made their appearance, and this time around they were delicious. AV's theory is that if you know what you're getting, you can enjoy these puppies much more-- they're not dumplings in the traditional sense, and they're a peculiar taste and texture sensation, so if you're looking for classic dumplings you'll likely be disappointed (as we were on our last visit). But as I said, I was craving these little green pouches, and they delivered their soft, peanutty filling deliciously. Mmmm.
For an entree, AV chose the wok basil with beef. Last time, this dish burned all the taste buds out of his mouth. But this time around, the dish wasn't overly hot and was duly delicious.
My own entree (the late-ordered selection, after I had had second thoughts about my previous selection) was the papaya salad. I'm very glad I decided to go ahead with this choice-- it was crunchy and tangy and spicy but not too spicy, as I had requested. Delectable and refreshing.
We were in and out of Land very efficiently and easily made our showtime. Given the improved comfort level of the dining room and the spice-tempered deliciousness of our entrees, the UES Land easily trumps its West Side cousin. As a result, I hereby upgrade Land to a solid three Offset Spatula Thai restaurant. I'm sure I'll be back for the veggie dumplings. They haunt my dreams...
Land Thai Kitchen
1565 Second Avenue, between 81st and 82nd Streets