Crab cheese wontons, spring rolls, a small salad, satay chicken, entree-size chicken lettuce wraps and two Blue Moons. You can get all that for $13.50 at L'Asie Fusion Bistro, 603 East Sixth Avenue.
We were a big crew celebrating a birthday, and everyone who hadn't been there before declared it a new neighborhood go-to spot. Our group was a server's worst nightmare -- big, loud, switching chairs constantly, ordering at all different times and wearing pirate-themed birthday hats. In spite of all that, our server smiled, cleared plates quickly and kept the drinks coming.
Every Tuesday and Wednesday evening, L'Asie's appetizers are half price. The appetizer combo, which allows you to choose three out of the seven options, was the big hit of the night. The Thai spring rolls come with tofu or shrimp, and between the fresh mint and amazing peanut dipping sauce, you could almost feel good about not getting the fried version. The crab cheese wontons look like little sopapillas and have plenty of extra shell for dipping. The edamame can be ordered plain or "XO" style, which is spicy and sweet with a hot kick.
Even the mixed greens used for filler on the sampler plate were outstanding -- fresh and coated with a light, sweet dressing. The only slight disappointment was the ridiculously bland fried tofu. True, saying that tofu is bland is like saying that fries are fried, but they made soy bean pods exciting, so couldn't they have sassied up some bean curd a little more?
Greedy, I ordered two appetizers -- the seafood dynamite and chicken lettuce wraps -- in lieu of an entree. The dynamite dish was small, but so rich that, in order to finish if off, it had to be passed around the table. The chicken lettuce wraps came with enough chicken and vegetables to serve as an entree, and despite some sesame ginger sauce blowout, it was all-around satisfying.
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The two-for-one drink special runs every day and every hour that L'Asie is open, although there's some strategy involved in getting the most out of the special: All bottled beers (no draft beers here) are $5 for two, which is pretty good for a place that doesn't have a trough urinal. Stay away from the $5 well drinks, however, because the house liquor should only be used for cleaning wounds.
Delicious martinis and signature drinks, priced between $9 and $12, are also two-for-one, although some provide more bang for your buck than others. The Tropictini tasted like Hawaiian Punch, but sadly lacked any actual booze punch. The Green Lotus, on the other hand, was a tasty mix of vodka, melon liquor, and sweet & sour. We decided to make a jug of it this summer, sculpt martini glasses out of cantaloupe and guzzle it by a pool. There was also a Saketini, concocted with vodka, sake, ginger liqueur and lemonade and garnished with ginger slivers, that was amazing.
If you love a good variety of different regional Asian cuisines, two martinis in front of you at once, or only have $20 to take someone on a date, L'Asie is a L'Awesome place to hang.