Thursday, August 16, 2007
Lan Pan-Asian Cafe
Put this unpretentious little bistro in the category of restaurants that you always see, but never seem to actually visit. Yesterday, I broke the pattern of arriving too late at this Asian fusion eatery located on the first floor of the Dadeland Center. Their lunch special is worth braving the crowds hurrying to Best Buy, Target, and Bed Bath and Beyond, even during college move in season. For 7.95-10.95, lunch customers enjoy miso soup, mesclun salad with a very nice lemony vinaigrette, wakame sunomo salad, AND a deliciously generous 8 piece California roll. The word and in the last sentence is in caps because this is not one of those either/or lunch specials; it is a fill-you-up-before-you-get-your-entree lunch special. After all this food, you couldn't be blamed for expecting an anemic portion of basil-chicken or teriyaki salmon, but you would be wrong. After the soup and salads and California roll were cleared, the waitress brought in a plate heaped with savory basil chicken. While not the best basil chicken I have ever eaten, it was flavorful and satisfying. Stay away from the chicken dumplings. They were doughy and under seasoned. I didn't try other sushi rolls, but if the California rolls are any indication they are probably quite good.