LOS Downhill alert?
I've been going to LOS for years, try to hit it every trip and I'm usually in Vegas 4-6 times a year. I hesitated posting this but after my last few meals there, I have to voice my disapointment. They've really dumbed it down, reduced portions and increased prices. A trio of factors that will spell doom for most hounds.
I live in LA and can get some amazing Thai food for inexpensive prices. Although I never thought LOS was the best Thai in the country bar none, I always did think it was up there among some of the best Thai I've had. In a town where there was a ton of expensive high end places or low end low quality places, LOS was one of the relatively few places that offered great food at very good prices. A jewel in a run down mall, I always looked forward to having a great meal there and a place that was a great compromise between my discerning hound friends and friends who were happy with a cheap buffett. Nice surroundings, good food at a price that my non houndish friends could tolerate. Not to mention expanding the palate of nascent hounds. It was a gateway restaurant that could open the eyes and tastebuds of a fast food only person.
But I think LOS has become a victim of their own success. My last visit there, I had the crispy rice with sour sausage appetizer, roast duck curry, papaya salad and green chile dip. All the dishes were a disapointment. Not as much depth of flavor, no heat or spiciness even though i asked for the same level as I've had for years. The green chile dip which I've loved over the years was bland, no heat at all and completely one note. The duck curry was creamy but very little meat and could barely taste any duck flavor in the sauce. The texture of the crispy rice was still there but no interplay of different layers of flavors. The papaya salad was no different from all the other papaya salads I've had in other Thai places. To top it off, the portion sizes for everything had shrunk yet again, while the prices are higher.
I understand costs needing to go up and sometimes portion sizes need to be adjusted too so margins can be maintained. But when the quality also goes down on top of those factors then I can't help but think, the love is no longer there. I would gladly pay more if the quality is maintained.
If this was only a one time occurrence then I'd write it off. But unfortunately I've been saying that my last few visits. I've reluctantly come to conclusion that for me, LOS might have lost it.
This post is not meant to bash them or scream that they are overrated. Rather it is more of a mournful post like seeing the passing of a dear friend. I hope that I'm wrong and probably will still try them a couple more times because I'm stubborn that way. But I won't have any high hopes.
THANK YOU for this post.
OK, I admit, I have only been there once and went for the lunch buffet. I heard nothing but raves, though, so thought it would be leaps and bounds better than the usual steam table goop. We took a taxi straight from the airport (I live in PHX) and by 11:30 a.m. there was already a long line.
I just didn't get it. The pad thai and soup were about the only edible things on the entire buffet. Most items were deep-fried and all tasted the same: Like old, stale oil.
Again, perhaps it's my fault for not ordering off the menu, but with an introduction like that, I don't feel the need to go back and take a stab at anything else. There are a couple of excellent ethnic buffets in PHX and I have used them to narrow down my choices when I return for a sit-down meal. Based on my LOS visit, I'd rather save my taxi money and use it to go somewhere nice on the Strip next time. It was a major let-down.
You chose wrong with the buffet. Every single post on this board has recommended against the buffet. Personally I think using a buffet to evaluate an ethnic place is a completely faulty method. There may be exceptions to the rule but I think I'm safe in saying that.
Ethnic places use buffetts as a profit center to lure in unadventurous diners that care more about saving money than quality of food, who just want something different from their usual fare. My rule of thumb on ethnic places is to try their specialities, what they're especially proud of serving. A buffet is not an indicator at all of a place's expertise.
If you had gone to LOS even two years ago, ordered off the menu and asked for suggestions you would have had a fantastic meal. Again, this post was not meant to bash them or start a bashing thread. It's a post I didn't want to make and I am more sad than anything else.