New York minutes/Early September 2007

The good: Land Thai, where the $8 lunch special was, as always, a better deal than it has any right to be. The vegetable spring rolls were dainty but perfectly fried, and the beef Thai curry was more decent beef than vegetables and just hot enough — I usually avoid cheap beef and now see why I’m usually let down. Bob had the daily dishes, some kind of chicken and rice noodle salad that was perfectly balanced and a shrimp thing (shrimp and I don’t communicate). Service gets an A, too. WIGB? Absolutely. 450 Amsterdam Avenue near 82d Street, 212 501 8121.

The better if bizarre: Hurapan Kitchen, where the kitchen was as attentive as the service was weird. Our table of three was the only one in the well-decorated house, and you can guess how that turned out. “Mussaman” curry with duck was light on the protein but fresh-tasting, spicy and lively, everything standard Thai is not. Charred rare tuna with a wasabi glaze was just as billed and came with exceptional crispy eggplant. Even the vegetarian summer roll with avocado and ginger-hoisin sauce was well above average. WIGB? I just wish it was closer. 29 Seventh Avenue South near Bleecker Street, 212 727 2678.

The surprisingly decent: Dishes in Grand Central Terminal, where I grabbed two sandwiches for the train ride up to Beacon for a party at a friend’s after an outing at DIA. The “media noche,” essentially a Cubano, was adequate if undergrilled, but a smoked turkey with Monterey Jack, avocado and chipotle mayonnaise on a huge soft sesame bagel was outstanding, melty and spicy. And both were done in not much more time than it took to buy the tickets. WIGB? Probably. It was the ideal prelude to a surprisingly great cappuccino at DIA and wines (Domaine Gaujaul rose and Vrak Macon Villages, each $9.99) from the new Artisan shop on Main Street in Beacon.