My sister wanted to take me out for a fun, light birthday dinner. One place immediately popped to mind for the perfect location for our needs; Land Thai Kitchen. Owned by the same people as Recipe, this Upper West Side location serves some of the best Thai food around and the prices are beyond reasonable. That makes the food taste even better.
This small, narrow restaurant typically has an extremely long wait, with very few tables inside. They do not take reservations, so it’s usually a game of luck to get seated quickly at one of their coveted tables. Luckily there are a bunch of bars and things to do in the area to stall time while waiting to get seated.
We decided to wait a bit longer for one of the four outdoor tables. Just our luck, the second we were seated outside, it started to rain. We were able to get quickly seated inside and enjoy our meal.
We started the meal off in proper, celebratory fashion, with pomegranate mojitos.
These were delicious and refreshing. The light mint flavor, lime and seltzer mixed together to create the perfect summer drink. We toasted and then contemplated what to order.
The summer special of the day were soft shell crabs. They are in season right now and popping up absolutely everywhere. I love this time of year. We also ordered the chicken lettuce wraps for our appetizers. We sat back and enjoyed our drinks and conversations, stomachs grumbling and ready to eat.
The soft shell crab was out of this world. It was perfectly cooked, with the outside being super crunchy, while the inside melted in your mouth. The pieces were creamy and rich, with the light freshness of the lettuce and cucumbers tying everything together. I didn’t want this dish to end, I could eat soft shell crabs daily.
The lettuce wraps were delicious. They had the perfect little kick of spice, which was mellowed out by the lettuce and sweet toasted coconut. The chicken was wonderful and flavorful. Putting this in the lettuce and especially the endive, my favorite vehicle, it combined together creating such perfect bites. Plus, I absolutely love being able to make food the way you want it to be eaten. The juices just dripped out the sides of the lettuce onto the plate, creating the perfect messy chicken wrap.
We decided to share the shrimp and tofu pad thai for our main course.
This dish has to be one of the best versions of pad thai I have ever enjoyed. The combination of peanuts with the creamy noodles, egg and scallions made the most decadent noodle dish. With bites of the perfectly cooked shrimp the dish just created a wonderful, peanut-y harmony of a dish. The tofu pieces were decadent and soaked up all of the flavor from the sauce. I found myself literally licking the plate clean, not letting any of this dish go to waste.
It was the perfect light and wonderful meal. I highly recommend stopping in this amazing, Thai spot on the Upper West Side. It’s great for fun with friends or a casual date. Plus, they have awesome take out, so It’s perfect for a night in. Definitely don’t walk past this wonderful, little gem.
Land Thai Kitchen – 450 Amsterdam Avenue – New York, NY
Land Thai Kitchen
Location: Upper West Side, NY
Perfect For: Authentic Dining, Take Out, Dining Solo
Reservations: Not Available
Favorite Dishes: Shrimp Pad Thai, Soft Shell Crabs, Chicken Lettuce Wraps