Definition of a hole in a wall place
Just wondering how people classify. One of my favorite places in Las Vegas is Lotus of Siam. I see lots of people calling it a hole in a wall. Sure it's in a dingy strip mall with a bunch of other restaurants and retail shops but once you're inside, the waiters are all dressed nicely in standard issue black and white. There's actual cloth covering the tables, not bare or plastic. There's glass and stemware for water and wine.
Maybe it's because I'm more geared to mom and pop family run places for daily fare and high end dining is special occassion. But I just don't consider LOS a hole in a wall.
To me hole is a wall is a place that is extremely non descript. Plain uncovered or plastic covered tables, waitstaff in regular clothing, plastic cups or the cheapest barware available for water. You get the point. That to me is a hole in a wall.
Hole in the Wall should be used to describe the whole experience. I'd say LOS is a "hidden gem".
I think the American "strip mall" is one the best places to find some "hole in the wall" or "suite in the mall." places. the rent or lease is typically low which allows some amazing mom & pops to survive and start their businesses. I may call LOS a Mom&Popo. Either way, you're not at Mesa Grill wit the tourists from Tampa and giving some of your money to the businesses off the strip - a good thing.
I have never been to Vegas, but will check it out if I go!
I usually consider it what others may call a "greasy spoon." Something with a lot of grease, and nothing really that extravagant, but they serve food and it's convenient.
To me "hole in the wall" basically means everything is geared towards the food. The chairs aren't all the same. The plates don't match. The "decor" is whatever the owner likes. The floor may be poured concrete, the waiters call you ya'll or hon and there's only one busser for the entire place. Sometimes there's a 15 year old tv in the corner. But if you're lucky the food's all handmade and as delicious as what you'd get at a 5 star. For further clarification, eat at Manuel's in Port Isabel, Texas.
that's it....the kind of mom & pop place where everything is unremarkable EXCEPT the food.
my all-time favorite "hole in the wall' was leonia pizzeria- a tiny, non-descript, family-owned place in leonia, nj. sadly, they closed many years ago. they had great, authentic ny-style pies...and the best red sauce.
I think it also has to do with reknownment. LOS is highly praised as the best Thai food in America and has won some awards. Once a restaurant starts getting that big I don't consider it to be a hole in the wall. It's no longer a "hidden" place as so many people go to Vegas to eat there.