>> Lasani Restaurant | Eat the World NYC

28 August 2015

Lasani Restaurant


Lasani is definitely the benefactor of good location, hanging out right above the neighborhood's mosque, Masjid ar-Rahman. The mosque serves a wide array of Muslims who work in the area and plenty of cabbies, so the restaurant is a fun mixture of South Asians and West Africans, something you do not always see. They all need their halal fix though, and lucky for us, the food here is worthy of being their go-to spot.

On most days, two ladies run the front of the operation, the older one very businesslike, and the younger more friendly. She calls customers who arrive by name and always has a smile. The place is busy even during off periods of the afternoon between meals, as their customers don't have such a routine schedule. This keeps the steam table fresh, and the massive turnaround is always good for the product. Alas, not all steam tables are created equal.

On the recommendation of a very nice Facebook follower, I ordered a plate of their lovely haleem ($10, below, with rice AND naan, cheaper without). This is a beef dish, so the "Indian" on the front awning could just be to attract people who may feel unfamiliar with Pakistani or Bangladeshi food. When the meat is cooked, it is taken out and the bones are removed so that it can be crushed and put back in. The resulting texture is what you see below, and really needs a plate of rice to soak it up.

Wheat, barley, lentils, and loads of terrific spicing are also involved here in what is a lovely dish. Typically haleem is cooked for eight hours or so, but I did not inquire about the lengths they go to here.

I have been back for a full complement of dishes including chicken tikka, beef and lamb curries, as well as the spinach. The naan here is so hot and fluffy (made to order!), that an order is essential every time you come. As stated before, it seems hard to go wrong with their steam table selections as everything is always fresh.

As a spot for cabbies, and seemingly an open bathroom for anyone in need, this is probably the only part of the restaurant that I would tend to avoid if possible. A small sacrifice.

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