Dinner menu envy – Its a real thing. A first world problem. So often we salivate over the dinner menu when all we can do is lunch sometimes. Unlike in other countries (like Italy), lunch plays second fiddle here. While there are many ethnic plays that offer the same menu all day long, most of the places out there offer lunch menus that aren’t nearly as interesting as dinner. It all boils down to our busy lifestyle. Our daily routine means we need something good and quick during the week. And when finally the weekend comes and we have more time, these guys transform into French Toast factories.
Khe-Yo isn’t really an exception to the rule. Its an elevated Laotian (the only one in NYC as far as I know), and I wouldnt expect them to offer an all day menu. But what they do is offer exactly the type of menu you would want from a place like this. This gang puts a lot of thought into what goes on each dish and just pulls it off. When they first started offering lunch, your options were Banh-Mi A or Banh-Mi B, to go. Nothing wrong with it, but 4 years later this is a different Khe-Yo.
Its the same kind of small concentrated menu they offer for dinner. The lone appetizer, excellent chicken wings got that perfect messy balance of sweet, sour and spicy notes. Its been a while since I had Bahn Mi here but I have full confidence in any of the three options. The Coconut crusted shrimp sounds appealing even though I’m not the biggest fan of coconut shrimp. The Pho here, Nong-Khai Style (city in Thailand on the border with Laos) is as top notch as any Pho I’ve had in a NYC. And last but not least, the Creekstone Farms Skirt Steak is a lesson in skirt perfection. Marinated with sugar and Hoisin, top quality tender awesomeness that just melts in your fork. Possibly my favorite overall restaurant in Tribecca, and a solid Z-Lister
157 Duane St (Hudson/W Broadway), Tribeca
Rating: Two Z’s (out of 4)
Stars range from Good to Exceptional. Simple as that
Recommended Dishes (lunch): Skirt Steak, Wings, Pho