So it’s happening. We are officially heading to Southeast Asia for my big birthday in May. We’re spending a couple weeks there, hitting up Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. To say I’m exited would be the understatement of the year. We still have some more detailed planning and itinerary-ing (is that a word?) to figure out but the flights to/from have been booked and I couldn’t be happier. We also convinced my married couple friends from college to join us on our journey. We have taken a trip with them before, so we know we all travel together well, and isn’t it always more fun to have more people share the experience? I think maybe what sealed the deal was when we took them to Land Thai on the Upper West Side while they were in town.
Land is my absolute favorite Thai place of all time. It’s our go-to spot in the neighborhood when we’re craving spicy deliciousness and cheap prices. It’s a teeny tiny place, but is always worth the wait for a table. We were on a roll with Saturday night dinners at Land for a few weeks, and it seems like we order in from Land at least once a week as well. I have yet to have a dish there I didn’t love. They also have a great “Land Juice” drink that we start out with – it’s vodka, lime juice, and some other deliciousness that I can never remember.
This time, we started with the crowd pleasing root vegetable spring rolls. The roll is really light and crispy, full of vegetables, and served with a mild sweet and sourish sauce. And they’re the perfect size – small enough that you don’t feel guilty ordering them every single time.
I ordered the Drunken Noodles with steamed tofu, one of the spicier noodle dishes they have. The sauce is rich and so spicy it makes my nose run. But I can’t help but love it. The vegetables are also great – really fresh and they add even more flavor to the dish.
R went with the Pad Thai (with no egg and steamed tofu), which is also a favorite of ours. Our friends had some sort of steak and seafood dishes that they also loved – though I didn’t photograph.
All the dishes were wonderful, as usual. One of my other Land favorites is their green curry with steamed tofu and vegetables. Honestly, you can’t go wrong with this place. I find myself craving it all the time. I’m really interested to see if after our trip my Thai tastes will be different (like when we went to Napa and my wine tastes changed). I also worry- perhaps unnecessarily- about whether we’ll be able to communicate our non-meat preferences while we’re over there. Have any of you traveled to SE Asia? Any tips or pointers?