There's not much I'm particularly fond of at Tao, but the Banana Pudding ($9) is an exception. There are many excellent banana puddings in the city, including Sugar Sweet Sunshine, Magnolia's, and Billy's Bakery—all fairly comparable (and delicious!), with layers of pudding, bananas, and wafers. Tao's pudding follows the same order with softened wafers at the bottom, topped with thinly sliced bananas. The vanilla pudding, running two inches deep into the bowl, is a good deal silkier, rich and less fluffy than the bakery versions. Crushed almond fortune cookies cover the surface, but it's the crowning touch—one fat fried banana that elevates this from simple dessert to pure gluttony.
Take it all at once, a spoonful of the cool pudding and the hot battered banana, almost too greasy, but not enough to notice as you dive in for another bite, this time for some of the cakey wafers and slippery banana slices. If you don't want to dine in just for the pudding, it's available for takeout, and even delivery.
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