Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Exploring Lan's Asian Grill
You are hungry.
It isn’t a suggestion, intimation, or question. It’s a fact, boldly stated, on the menu of
Lan’s Asian Grill. Lan’s is a quintessential diamond in the rough; like so many such
diamonds, it hides in a strip mall but features sleek décor and an open kitchen.
Lan’s is a family-run affair and its menu boasts a thorough roster of southeast Asian
dishes like vermicelli bowls, Pad Thai, and pho. Vegan and gluten-free options are
numerous and clearly marked. We tuck first into a generous bowl of Tom Yum Soup with
chicken ($11.99). Juicy cubes of chicken swim in a brick-red broth that cradles galangal
slices, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass and chili peppers. Lan’s allows one to customize the
spice level of each dish on a scale of one to three. Level one leaves my eyes watering but
doesn’t mask the other ingredients’ individual essences.
Pad Thai ($11.99) is available vegan or with shrimp of chicken. We select shrimp and are
rewarded with fat, spicy prawns that rest atop a hill of noodles. Shreds of egg, morsels of
tofu and tiny rounds of green onion mingle with the noodles and add savoury notes while
chopped peanuts add crunch.
Lan’s menu features a back story, a manifesto of sorts. They state, “We’re not good with
excess junk like salts, fats, oils, sugars. We don’t eat that way so why would we ever
cook it in any other way for you guys?” Well said. This mindset plays itself out so clearly
in Lan’s food and it is well worth a trip around the Kingsway traffic circle to reach this
Lan’s Asian Grill
11828 103 St. NW