Laut

15 E. 17th St.
New York, NY 10003
212-206-8989
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Details

  • Sun 1pm-10pm, Mon-Thu 11:30am-10:30pm, Fri 11:30am-11pm, Sat 1pm-11pm
  • Delivery, Takeout
  • Reservations Accepted
This well-regarded Malaysian restaurant just outside Union Square is Michelin-starred, with a decor to match. Pushing customers' preconceived ideas about authenticity, price, and decor in "ethnic" restaurants, Laut is dimly lit--all small wooden tables, exposed brick,and metal latticework, undercut by thumping club music, but the Malay flavors--coconut, lemongrass, and belchan (fermented shrimp paste) are strongest and best, despite the restaurant’s official billing as pan-Asian. In addition to a variety of lunch-special curries (penang sate and massaman being the most familiar, but by no means the only ones to try), Laut offers laksa, a traditional spicy noodle soup in both curry and asam styles, water spinach heavy with chile and shrimp paste, sotong goreng (fried squid with chile), and crisp roti canai, a fried flatbread. There are plenty of skippable items--sake bombs, shumai, buffalo wings--but as long as the friendly staff leads you to the Malaysian section of the menu, you’re likely to have a tasty meal. --Diana Clarke

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