Le Lan - Wow, wonderful Dining Experience!
We dined at Le Lan last night thanks to a recommendation from Chowhound, and it was so delightful that I wanted to post a review here.
I wanted to have a unique and enjoyable meal, so we arrived at 5:00pm to leave plenty of time before a theater show later in the night. After looking over the menu, it all sounded terrific and we were having a hard time deciding what to order. In small print at the bottom it mentioned the availability of a tasting menu. We asked about it and were told that the chef would pull from the menu and a few other unique items and that the six or nine course service could be paired with wine. Coming off a bad prix-fixe experience last week, we were a little hesitant but decided to go for it.
Wow. What followed was probably one of the best meals I have ever eaten. Everything was perfectly executed with impeccable wine pairings from off the beaten path. The staff was friendly and professional, and the chef even popped out to our table to discuss a few dishes and see how we were enjoying the meal.
Everything was delicious, but the items that fell into the "This may be the best ___ I've ever had" category included: Wild mushroom and chicken dumplings with vermicelli noodles, hen of the woods mushrooms, and parmesan cheese; Mirin and soy cured mahi mahi; Tea-Smoked duck breast with savory bread pudding & kumquat-star anise reduction; a special dish not on the menu made of perfect thin slices of Waygu beef and a small short rib that I can still close my eyes and taste this morning! There was also a fantastic rack of lamb dish, a lemon fish dish,and a red snapper wrapped in banana leaf with curry that was very flavorful. Part of the fun of the meal was that most courses were two different dishes so my DH and I could swap plates and ended up trying at least twelve different dishes, and then a few courses were the same (which was good, because I don't think I could have shared the Waygu without holding a grudge!).
I would very much recommend this restaurant to anyone who enjoys expertly prepared food that has a fresh southeast asian influence and is well paired with a carefully selected wine list. In a word, it was sublime.