**Now Closed (updated 2/26/10)

It was almost exactly one year from the day I went to Lan Japanese restaurant 56 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10003 last. Even though it took a while to go back, returning is still the greatest compliment I can give a restaurant. The thing that I really wanted to go back for was the Wagyu Sushi, but alas, they don’t have it on the menu anymore. (The manager did say they could get it if I requested in advance.) However, they do now have a 7-course tasting menu for $48.

I met Rachel there at 7:30 for dinner on Thursday evening and was suprised to see that the restaurant was pretty empty. I happily took my pick of the table with the most lighting. Shortly after choosing the tasting menu, which had two dishes I would have surely ordered anyway, our house-made tofu arrived. The crab and gelee topping was the perfect savory accompaniment to the pure and tender tofu. I could taste each ingredient, which popped at separate times, even the sprinkle of finely chopped scallion. (There was a hint of shiso in the gelee that I would have preferred without but that’s completely personal since I’m just not a shiso fan.)

House-made tofu with crab gelee

The Salmon Ceviche is the weakest dish. It’s not bad but a bit too sour which masks the flavor of the salmon. It could’ve been any fish and would’ve made no difference.

salmon ceviche

The Foie Gras Chawan-mushi with Duck Scallion Sauce really impressed me. The delicate balance of liver and egg custard, still rich and smooth, piping hot. This is Japanese comfort food.

Foie gras Chawan-mushi with duck scallion sauce

The Black Cod is a forgiving fish so I’m not impressed but this one is as good as any other. It was a bit weird that the piece of broccoli was raw, but I enjoyed the fish.

Chilean Sea Bass

The Steak is cooked medium-rare. I’m glad they didn’t even ask. That’s just how it should be served. It’s topped with sea urchin and rests on celery root puree and all the flavors work well together.

steak topped with sea urchin

The Yuzu Sorbet was simple and refreshing.

yuzu sorbet

The Chocolate Souffle was a little too soupy in the center but is still so enjoyable. The raspberry sauce and vanilla ice cream match well. All the flavors are clean and simple, with the perfect level of sweetness.

chocolate souffle

The 7 courses were done but we received some extra green tea macaroons. They were a bit hard though so I just licked the cream centers out.

green tea macaroons

They closed the deal with some green tea. I love when Asian restaurants offer complimentary teas at the end of a meal, instead of trying to charge $4 for it.

green tea

Lan does a lovely job with plating, as you’d expect from the Japanese, but definitely with some modern flare. The portions are very generous for a tasting menu, yet you don’t get over-loaded with bread and carbs. The ingredients are not skimpy at all, foie gras, uni, crab, etc. It’s a pretty unbelievable deal for $48 and I won’t be waiting a year before my next visit.

posted by jessica at 10:51 PM Filed under Asian, Closed, Favorites, Restaurants. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.