Bualong...not likely ever again
Out with a group of six, made a reservation without a problem. The problem was when we got there. We sat for 45 minutes without being acknowledged beyond giving us a menu. The water girl came by 25 times, but the one waitress never even looked at us.
After 45 minutes, we went to the kitchen and asked if we could order a beer. The man came out, took our beer order....20 minutes went by before we got our drinks.
By this time, i wanted to leave, but i was outvoted. People all around us, even those who came after us, were being served their food. We were there for over 3 hours.
I could go on and on, but even if the food is good, I won't be back. The business model they have is not working-I will take my money elsewhere.
Interestingly, I was going to do a post soon about Boualouang's fall from grace after their move to a larger space in May. I can see why they wanted to move; they were constantly full and infact overflowing into the streets all the time. The food was solid, and it was a true southeast Asian experience (including service-wise!) Moving up meant they could capitalize and make customers happier, right?
I was excited when they moved to a larger, more stylish restaurant. It somehow made them more accessible. I've eaten at my share of holes in the wall, but it's sometimes hard to get less experienced stomachs to enter such establishments. The well laid out and designed new location was promising.
Unfortunately, it would seem Boualouang kept the same amount of staff and food supplies as for their old six table restaurant. I have had two miserable experiences there this summer.
The first was right after they moved in May so I chalked it up to growing pains. Service was slow, items were forgotten and yet others were not available. I went back in July and things were worse. Service was just as slow and they were out of two dishes (lahp and their jerky) and one ingredient, galangal. Lahp is a major reason I go there, and although their green curry was good, it would have been much better with galangal.
I love the food (when it's around), but I agree. Moving may have killed them.
Reports of "Bualong's" death are premature. Still around and the food is as good as ever. Service is average.The actual name of the restaurant is Boualouang Laos & Thai Cuisine.
I have concerns about Viphalay, however, as the move downtown has affected the quality of the food.
But arguably still two of the best Thai restaurants in Edmonton.