Sarah DiGregorio's Top 10: No. 10 New York 2010 - Laut
Oddly enough, Laut is actually a good Malaysian restaurant masquerading as a screechy pan-Asian joint. So ignore Usher panting loudly over the speakers and skip over the superfluous sushi and Thai stuff in favor of the curry laksa—a rich coconut-based soup, creamy orange in color, the chile-oil-stippled surface hiding a generous pile of yellow egg noodles underneath. The pungent base of chilies, lemongrass, belacan (fermented shrimp paste), and shallots balances the sweetness of the coconut. Cubes of fried tofu sponge up the broth, while shrimp and half of a boiled egg bob alongside.