Case in point: Vietnamese. I never had it before we met up with our Beet and Kumquat. They recommended a teensy Vietnamese joint in the East Village called Lan Café. If there was ever a place you can call a hole-the-wall, Lan Café is your poster child.
Tiny, unpretentious and spartan, Lan Café lacks décor but not menu options. There’s a plethora of vegan goodies to choose from including baguette (Bahn Mi) sandwiches; I regret not trying one! For appetizers we all shared crispy and lightly cooked spring rolls filled with veggie goodness. For the main course I ended up trying the Mixed Vegetable Soup, which was perfectly seasoned and had plenty of my beloved bok choy swimming around in that large bowl. Mac ended up trying the Grilled Lemongrass Seitan On Steamed Hair Rice Vermicelli which was fragrant and spicy.
For the life of me I cannot recall what Beet and Kumquat ordered, but I remembered that it looked great and they enjoyed every bite. As a matter of fact they are regulars here and both claim to never have had a bad meal.
It ended up being a very pleasant evening, chock full of good conversation and tasty, honest and hearty food. Mac and I will return to Lan Café someday where I will try one of those baguette sandwiches, damn it! By the way, they only accept cash, so don’t forget to stop at the ATM before arriving!
342 E 6th St
New York, NY 10003