Thursday, April 30, 2015

Lan Cafe says goodbye


[Photo by Michael Hirsch]

As we first reported, the Vietnamese vegan restaurant at 342 E. Sixth St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue was closing at the end of this month.

The above sign has greeted customers the past few nights: "Due to difficult economic times and high rent these past few years, we are sad to announce that Lan Cafe will be closing its doors permanently."

In addition, the Nguyen family offers an unnecessary apology:

"We are truly sorry for any inconvenience we have caused[d] you all these years."


[Photo by @2001films]

Updated

Here's one last photo of the Nguyen family (from left): Kyh, Lan and Chad …


[Photo by Bill the Libertarian Anarchist]

14 comments:

Marty said...

I was there last night and they really are the sweetest people. Seemed like a bittersweet night as these closings often are. Place was complete full with a waiting list for tables and many of the diners were also going to order more food to go

One couple who must have been regulars were snapping a ton of photos and seemed to know the kitchen staff quite well and wanted to introduce their baby to them. Another couple brought in their temple radio and the guy behind the counter snapped his on from behind the file cabinet. The kitchen was furiously trying to keep up with orders but was also constantly interrupted by well-wishers. It took a while to get my food but under the circumstances i didn't mind.

Lan Cafe will definitely be missed. I am grateful it existed

Gojira said...

"We are truly sorry for any inconvenience we have caused[d] you all these years" - shouldn't this be coming from the rapacious landlords and vampire real estate tycoons ravaging the EV/LES rather than the good people at Lan Cafe?

Anonymous said...

@ Gojira: YES!

Anonymous said...

Sorry Lan Cafe, but you needed to close. The reason? Well, your food is tasty and reliable, and your restaurant is a sedate place to have a nice meal, but nothing about it is AMAZING and everything in the neighborhood must be on the level of an angel singing in your ear. Not amazing = must be shut down. Seriously, if I don't experience synesthesia while eating your food it's obviously terrible. Also, your vietnamese food is made by people who are vietnamese and that simply won't do either. Ethnic food in this neighborhood needs to be "reimagined" and fused with something else, at at the least the restaurant needs to be owned by someone who's caucasian, and preferably they should have a master's degree in something unrelated to food. Also, everything needs to have bacon in it, because we rich people have just discovered what poor folk have always known, which is that bacon is awesome. It's so awesome it's been declared vegetarian.

Hope you'll use the time the restaurant is closed to reimagine your food - I recommend experimenting with a "Photato"-Bacon smoothie to be served over a single Orieda waffle-chip and baked in a dingy toaster oven. Try to give it a name with the word "Jew" in it, which people will get a chuckle out of because of the bacon and we're totally assimilated.

Anonymous said...

This is the worst. Doesn't sound from this like they're looking to reopen in another space. It's true, restaurant "groups" are shoving out individually-owned restaurants and this is what we lose so that we can eat "concepts" at "restaurant experiences". I am doing my best to spend my money eating real food at the individually-owned places. I'll miss you, Lan Cafe! Your food was delicious and your cafe was so welcoming.

Anonymous said...

ugh schwimmer!!!

nygrump said...

This is a perfect example of an inhuman market - this place was always busy - the rent must be ridiculous, and there is already a bar trying to open here. Maybe I'll go speak against it - enough bars in residential buildings already.

Purnima Langen said...

I too loved the sweet, calm atmosphere of Lan Cafe. A true "family" style Asian restaurant. The Buddhist vegan food was so delicious and fresh. I loved the fact that Mrs. Nguyen was dedicated to serving healthy, Buddhist Vietnamese after her mom survived cancer.

I hope Lan Cafe will rise again like a Phoenix.

Anonymous said...

@7:59, nice post but I'm unclear on what exactly is a "temple radio"?

Anonymous said...

@11:19, "dingy toaster oven" - LOL - just asking, is that a swipe against Bugs restaurant on E. 12th?

Scuba Diva said...

At 11:19 AM on April 30, Anonymous wrote:

Also, everything needs to have bacon in it, because we rich people have just discovered what poor folk have always known, which is that bacon is awesome. It's so awesome it's been declared vegetarian.

I guess it's one of the best-kept secrets around, because there actually are numerous types of vegan bacon out there—hiding in plain sight. There's Coconut Bacon, and you can usually find "Smart Bacon" at the supermarket.

There's also a recipe for amazing vegan bacon…but I digress.

(I'm also wondering what a "temple radio" is.)

Adopt, Don't Shop! said...

Anon's attempt at humor failed miserably! Stick to your day job!

Anonymous said...

They are truly the sweetest people. This is so so unfortunate. I will miss Lan Cafe terribly. Thankful for 9 years, but so sad. it makes me so angry that greedy landlords get away with pushing out a nice family business

Anonymous said...

When I said temple radio i meant one of these chant players you often see sold around temples across Asia. Plastic box that plays loops of chanting.

http://jetcityorange.com/buddha-machine/buddhist-chant-box.html