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Gan Eden-- Kosher Central Asian in the Diamond District

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I had a creditable lunch with a friend at Gan Eden, which is at 74 W 47th, near 6th. It is a kosher restaurant with Bukharan food, and is only open from 11:30 to 5. It is up on the 3rd floor of a building with lots of jewelers, and is not well marked. There was a very short blurb on it in the NY Times Sunday City Section a few weeks ago.

The salads were very mediocre -- we had the cabbage and carrot salad, and the Israeli salad. I would suggest trying the "fresh salad" -- I think other tables were having it and it looked a lot better.

The rest of the food was very good, though. The standout was the plov. The medium grained rice was both firm and a bit creamy, not as hard as it sometimes gets. It had a strong hit of cumin and garlic, and a sweet edge from carrots. The braised lamb was tender and tasty, and an integral part of the dish, definitely not an afterthought.

We also had chicken broth with pelmeni and diced veggies, which was excellent,though we definitely concentrated on the dumplings rather than on the rich broth. (Someone at the next table had borscht, which I will try on a future visit.) Also, kebabs of chicken and lamb ribs, along with the round Uzbek bread.

It is great to have this food in Manhattan. And not bad for $21 for two,incl tax and tip!

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