No stiff plastic pennants were strung from the narrow green awning; no "grand opening" banner blanketed the window below. From outside, there was no obvious sign that this Himalayan storefront had served its first customers only a day earlier.
Inside, however, was a sign of a different sort: a tray of khapsey (shown, in the second photo, as I found it, partially depleted by previous patrons). These celebratory cookies take many forms. The dough might be fashioned into elaborate symbolic configurations or humbler twists; they might be fried in mustard oil, another cooking oil, or in butter; the resulting khapsey might be a little salty or, like these, sugar-dusted and more sweet. H/T Joe DiStefano, of Chopsticks and Marrow, for the observation.
Also shown: this tiny's restaurants raison d'être, laphing. (In the names of the restaurant and of one menu item, they're called liang fen, the Chinese equivalent, but elsewhere on the menu they're called laphing. Why the different names, I haven't figured out.) The most common variety in New York, made from mung beans, is pale, often to the point of transluscence, and very slippery. Prepared from the starch of yellow split peas, this laphing serpo ($4.95), or yellow laphing, is less of a challenge to chopstick skills, but the blend of chile and sesame oils will numb your lips just as readily.
Lhasa Liang Fen
81-15 Broadway (Pettit-Britton Aves.), Elmhurst, Queens