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Jan 29, 2008 08:24 AM

AN asian restaurant in Cary, NC

Hello, my friend has suggested AN new world cuisine for a birthday dinner. Unfortunately, I'm not having much luck searching for "an" in Cary, as every posting that uses the article an comes up! Anyone have any recent experiences there? Recommendations?

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  1. try an world cuisine. they also come up in

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    1. My friends took me there for my birthday.... it was the only time I have been, but the atmosphere was fantastic and the food was of superb creativity and quality. Report back, please, if you do go. It has been several months since my bday and I will love to know what others are thinking.

      1. I have been a number of times and I have been continually impressed with the quality of the food and service. I've had the Walnut Prawns and the Miso Sea Bass and both have been much so, I haven't tried much else on the menu but haven't heard anything but compliments from my dinner companions.....a nice thing to do is have some pre-dinner drinks at the Umstead Hotel across the street and head over for dinner.

        1 Reply
        1. re: klaatu47

          Also....thought this restaurant was the biggest omission from Greg Cox's best of the triangle column a few weeks back.

        2. I was there for my birthday & feel it was one of the best dining experiences I have ever had. Every detail was perfect, every bite was OMG delicious. Even the restroom was gorgeous!
          I keep meaning to go there for lunch - if anyone has (not to hijack, but) please give your input!

          1. I seem to be in the minority here but I will not be going back to An. The food is very good I won't deny that but the portions are way too tiny, and I don't even consider myself a big eater. The atmosphere is very nice, but a little too snooty for me, it is a place that is trying to be very hip and urban in a quaint Southern town. If you like getting great food at a good value (and not feeling like you've been ripped off when the bill comes) you'll probably feel the same way. The Kobe beef filet was excellent and seems like such a bargain at $55 but then you see how very tiny it is - reminded me of that old Wendy's commercial "Where's the beef?" And I've yet to go to any other restaurant where they bring a basket full of bread by, but make you choose one piece out of it and walk away with it. What's wrong with leaving a basket of bread on the table? Can they not afford this extravagance? Anyway this is my hangup, try it for yourself and perhaps if someone else is paying for it you won't be concerned.

            6 Replies
            1. re: Madelyne

              Never been to An, but just some comments.

              1) Big box Asian eateries are obviously popular with some people. This trend started in NYC with the likes of Megu, Matsuri, etc and more recently Buddakan/Morimoto (though technically Philly restaurants first, the "big box" part came to fruition in NYC). These restaurants make money and An currently seems to have this market cornered. Not where I prefer to eat, but I can see the appeal.

              2) Is anywhere in the area serving real Wagyu, much less Wagyu from Kobe? That's a serious question. I could write volumes on misleading menu language and Japanese beef, but I wonder how An presents this $55 steak.

              3) Most Asian restaurants, even the pan-Asian, fusiony ones, don't serve bread--much to my chagrin. Though formal bread service is typically conducted from a cart/trolley or large basket/tray. My solution, just ask for two slices, rolls, pieces, whatever.

              1. re: BryanZ

                Why would one expect bread service at an Asian restaurant? That's seems as out of place to me as expecting chips and salsa or papardams and chutney at a French restaurant.

                But I do agree that if any place is going to offer bread, it's nice to leave a small basket with 2-3 pieces per person.

              2. re: Madelyne

                I respectfully have to disagree with characterizing the RDU area as a "quaint Southern town" - I grew up in one of those, and you were lucky if you could find a Chinese takeout, much less a restaurant the caliber of An.

                I also don't recall seeing many Asian restaurants with a breadbasket on the table.

                1. re: Madelyne

                  I did not have the Kobe beef. Two shared an app of mussels which was very generous. The bread (4 piping hot choices) was appreciated since the sauce was too good to miss a drop off. There was no limit to the bread & additional servings were very accessible. Mains were the miso sea bass & a pork dish not on the on-line menu. Both were superb in flavor, quality & presentation. Portions were not huge. The size was just right for a leisurely meal of sensory delights. Shared a dessert. Even my SO (an eater of hefty proportions) was happily satiated. Our servers were professional, well informed, helpful with recommendations & shared their enthusiasm for the food. If I had the wallet, I'd be there weekly. Each dish was a well thought use of flavor, color & texture.
                  I am sorry you did not experience it in a similar way.

                  1. re: meatn3

                    Given the somewhat SE Asian this place has, bread isn't all that surprising. Nice to see they're offering proper bread service. I'd rather have bread service than some heat-n-serve Sysco rolls in a basket.

                    1. re: BryanZ

                      I think you all may be missing my point. It isn't that I cared if I had bread with this Asian meal, it is the fact that someone came around with a bread basket and served us only one piece out of it. They didn't come back around to offer us more during the course of my meal. It was to demonstrate that I felt they were being cheap with it. I think of this place more as Asian fusion though, I had a crab cake after all - which they made more Eastern by adding edamame to it which was a really nice touch.
                      I do realize that the Triangle area is a fast growing area but in comparison to cities like NYC, LA, Chicago, it is still quaint in my opinion. Not that I am knocking it in any way, I love this area. I was born in the South but spent several years living in Manhattan, and I admit I was spoiled by the abundance of great food, and I never dined anywhere in NYC where the portions were this small. But, maybe I was just at An on an off-night.