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Land Thai UES - awful!

I'd been excited to try this, since my friends had been saying it was really solid. The decor was great, the service very nice, and the mixed appetizer plate, delicious. The rest of the food? NOT good! I got the Wok Vegetable Medley with Tofu napa cabbage, cauliflower, snow peas, broccoli, tomato with ginger-garlic sauce, which was the most boring I've ever had (I realize it's not an exciting dish, but it was zero flavor!) and my sis got the pad thai, and I'm a big pad thai fan - this had ZERO flavor and the noodles were overcooked and limp.

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  1. We've ordered from them several times (hoping it would get better) and it hasn't. I agree and we're giving up.

    1 Reply
    1. in 6 visits or so i have never had a bad meal at land

      1. Maybe you just ordered the wrong thing. I ordered one of the noodle dishes and it was incredibly spicy, too spicy really, but that was my own fault b/c they told me it was going to be spicy and I just assumed it would be like all other thai restaurants in Manhattan. I was wrong. As you stated, the mixed app plate is amazing and the decor nice and service very good. So not sure how you could title your post as "awful".

        3 Replies
        1. re: esyle

          As soon as the appetizers were done, I found the rest of the food barely edible, hence the "awful".

          1. re: Jel212

            But getting past the decor, service and apps, which you agree were perfectly pleasant, you made a wrong choice on the "rest of your food", your 2 entrees. Again, my experience is if all the above were horrendous, "awful" would be a good word. But 2 boring meals, when everything else that goes into making a dining experience enjoyable was above average does not make a restaurant "awful", IMO anyway. I think you should give it another try and order differently. I can't wait to go back and get the mixed app again, and the drunken noodles w/less heat.

          2. re: esyle

            to say awful in my view is always more of a statement of frustration versus objectivity. under no condition could i find land awful. i am not suggesting it is transcenedent, but not awful in any way...

          3. If you want a wonderful Pad Thai recipe to do yourself which is pretty easy let me know. Have a great one. Linda

            1 Reply
            1. re: pindapanda

              Thanks Linda! No worries about the recipe - I'm rarely home early enough after dinner to cook

            2. i thought the food was ok, i had the shrimp with cashews both times i went there, my boyfriend got the drunken noodles once and it was so spicy neither of us could eat it. It is BYOB though which is *wonderful*

              1 Reply
              1. re: JillAnn

                Right, the drunken noodles were way too spicy, but as I mentioned the waitress did tell me so. I like spicy but that was just crazy. Next time I will ask to tone it down an "*".

              2. Are you talking about the west side location, or the east side? I like west side Land for take out- never eaten in, though. I've heard bad things about the service on the west side.

                1 Reply
                1. I've been to the West side location of Land and it's been nothing but fabulous! I love it! Drunken noodles were perfect for me. But then again, that's what I like. If I didn't want spicey, I would go for Pad Thai. But for once, it's actually a Thai restaurant (other than Pam real thai) that actually is true to their labels

                  1. Wow I am really surprised to hear this because I have been loving Land on the UES since it opened. I just ordered the beef with long beans last night and the appetizer sampler, delicious. I have had the shrimp with cashews and the green chicken curry, which was really spicy. I have found for the quality of Thai it is, the prices are great too. Maybe Pad Thai is a boring dish for them so they don't spice it up with anything exciting? Try the other stuff on the menu!

                    1. When Land opened on the West side the food was totally hit or miss for the first few months. Spicing was all over the place -- the beef with long beans dish would come spicy one week (and taste totally bland) then we'd ask for it extra spicy (and it would be on fire). But after maybe 6-7 months the place evened out and is now reliably tasty and we order about once a week, medium spicy. (Which is enough to make your nose run, but still be able to taste flavors.) I'd try going back in a month and order something diferent. I'm a fan of the massaman curry.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Westrite

                        The chef-owner (who happens to be a very nice guy) told me around a year after they opened that they'd spent months tweaking the seasoning. After a while they observed that the dinner crowd, which he took to be heavily local, was asking for hotter, spicier food. (This ran counter to my assumptions about UWS diners - and I used to be one.) By contrast, the lunch crowd, which he pegged as mostly workers from out of the neighborhood, wanted their food mild.

                        I don't know about his analysis of the clientele; some office workers might just prefer not to return from lunch in a cloud of chile fumes. But I can say that if you ask for Thai spicy at the original Land, you're likely to get it.

                        1. re: squid kun

                          I would recommend SaWoy on 77th and 1st. The food is great!

                      2. I'm also firmly in the UWS Land camp. I think it's one of the more reliable takeout places. I've only dined in once and the service was fine.

                        The food is consistent, tasty, and nicely spiced.

                        I've given up eating the mediocre Chinese food here and Land is my go to Asian place!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: harrison

                          I think Land Thai is about the best Thai in Manhattan! I love their spicy beef salad, and I love the fact that in general they're not afraid to spice up their dishes.

                        2. The Pad See Ew with tofu and veggies is wonderful so go back and give them another shot. Agreed that their Pad Thai is less than inspired. Most of the apps are good, too (which you mentioned).

                          Sala Thai (2nd Ave in the low 90s) is another good option on the UES, though a bit more "formal" atmosphere.