Sun-Thu, 11:30am-11pm; Fri-Sat, 11:30am-11:30pm
4, 5, 6, L, N, Q, R at 14th St.-Union Sq.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
St. Mark’s Pl. to 34th St., Ave. C to Park Ave. South
An offshoot of the Brooklyn Thai spot that shares its name, Lantern lights up a bland stretch of lower Second Avenue with a high-design room and moderately priced menu. Husband-and-wife owners Kevin Leathers and Supanee Kitmahawong gutted the dull space they took over from a decades-old Thai restaurant. The centerpiece is now three trees with gold-painted “leaves” surrounded by back-to-back banquettes, strategically placed mirrors, and dark, angular furniture. The fusion-y Thai menu is not quite as polished. Mild papaya salad evokes yawns, and jumbo shrimp in lemongrass tastes strongly of fish. But smoky chive-filled rice-flour patties are addictive, and wok-fried entrées with choices of proteins and sauces are reliable and generous. Leathers and Kitmahawong also own the smart East Village “Thai brasserie” Cafetasia but live across the street from Lantern. It’s worth a visit here if you’re one of their neighbors.Recommended Dishes
Penang curry with vegetarian duck, $12; wok-fried chicken with ginger and pineapple, $10; salmon mango, $15