After reading about the reopening of NoLita Thai restaurant Lovely Day on Lunch Studio and Eater, I knew I had to get over there asap to try out their amazing looking lunch special. Lovely Day had been closed for over a year following a terrible fire that all but gutted the entire building, but reopened this October just in time to have it's annual Halloween bash. Today, there is absolutely no indicator of the fire damage at all. The decor was cozy, it reminded me of a French country side cafe with it's antique wallpapering and lush red booths and chairs. Interesting choice for a Thai restaurant, but it works!
With no waitress in site, I seated myself near the bar, where the bartender and a few locals were joking and gossiping. That's all fine with me, but I got a little irritated when I got up and asked her for the menu only to have her rudely point to them without saying a word. The menu was interesting, although not that diverse.The entrees leaned towards a Thai take on New American dishes, with dishes such as Flank Steak marinated in tamarind sauce, and the Ginger Fried Chicken. The rest of the menu was comprised of traditional Thai noodle dishes, no surprises there! Now, if you know me, you know there are two types of food that I love more than anything : fried and Asian. Ginger Fried Chicken? YES PLEASE! It was one two lunch options, the other being any of the noodle dishes served with 2 dumplings and edamame. I placed my order with the now present super sweet waitress,and was super excited when it emerged only 5 minutes after I placed my order still sizzling.
It came with two slices of lime, and a tangy chili aioli , another of my TWO FAVORITE THINGS! The first bites were absolutely amazing; the batter was seasoned with just the right amount of ginger, which balanced with the lime and chili mayo perfectly. It was a really refreshing tangy take on traditional fried chicken, but I just felt like it was missing something. It needed a vegetable, or something to tie the dish together and make it feel complete. That aside though,the meal was decently cheap at only $8, and I really enjoyed the Asian inspired flavors paired with the fried chicken.
Address:196 Elizabeth St, New York 10012
Average Price: $9 for lunch, $13 for entree