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Lotus of Siam in NYC

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tazerowe Oct 21, 2010 06:20 AM

I saw chat board rumors that Las Vegas's famous Lotus Of Siam is taking the old Cru space on 5th Ave. Anyone have anything concrete on this?

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    gutsofsteel RE: tazerowe Oct 21, 2010 06:47 AM

    I found this...l

    http://www.opentable.com/lotus-of-siam

    27 Replies
    1. re: gutsofsteel
      buttertart RE: gutsofsteel Oct 21, 2010 10:56 AM

      Holy som tum, Batman! This is really exciting.

      1. re: gutsofsteel
        k
        kathryn RE: gutsofsteel Oct 21, 2010 11:03 AM

        http://twitter.com/lotusofsiamny

        "Lotus of Siam NY will open the first week of November at 24 5th avenue, hope to see u there!"

        1. re: kathryn
          Melanie Wong RE: kathryn Oct 21, 2010 11:24 AM

          Here's the menu for the first dinner, test run:
          http://www.twitpic.com/2z5edc

          1. re: Melanie Wong
            s
            Simon RE: Melanie Wong Oct 26, 2010 02:44 AM

            hmmm, i was excited when i first read about this but that first dinner menu doesn't bode well: words like "sweet sour dipping sauce", "tuna tartare" and "niman ranch rib eye steak" are not what i want to see listed on a Thai menu...there's nothing on that menu that i'd particularly want to order...

            1. re: Simon
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              gutsofsteel RE: Simon Oct 26, 2010 02:52 AM

              Wow, there's plenty on that menu that I'd love to try...high quality ingredients, cooked with a creative Thai flare...sounds great to me.

              1. re: gutsofsteel
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                Simon RE: gutsofsteel Oct 26, 2010 03:02 AM

                i hope you're right...but the menu's buzzwords and Manhattan-farangishness turned me off...i'd be more excited about a softshell crab somtam if Manhattan already had a decent regular somtam...and the fact that menu states that they put "julienne apple" in it makes me cringe...

                1. re: Simon
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                  gutsofsteel RE: Simon Oct 26, 2010 03:12 AM

                  Too many people I respect love the food at LOS, so I will not assume anything but the best until I taste it myself - I don't see much point in criticizing something that I (and hardly anyone actually) have not had a chance to taste.

                  I don't think "ethnic food" has to be downscale to be good.

                  1. re: gutsofsteel
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                    Simon RE: gutsofsteel Oct 26, 2010 03:28 AM

                    like i said, i hope you're right...just said that i don't like the sound of the sample menu...cheers...

                    1. re: Simon
                      k
                      kathryn RE: Simon Oct 26, 2010 07:11 AM

                      Hopefully it'll be more expanded when it actually opens. But in comparison to the menu at the original (which has a lot more of the standards listed), I'm a little disappointed in the NYC "test" menu because I was really hoping to see khao soi.

                      1. re: kathryn
                        d
                        Dave Feldman RE: kathryn Oct 26, 2010 10:17 AM

                        Worry not. Khao soi is in your future.

                  2. re: Simon
                    bigjeff RE: Simon Oct 27, 2010 08:13 AM

                    soft shell crab somtam????? yum.

                    1. re: bigjeff
                      s
                      Simon RE: bigjeff Oct 27, 2010 10:05 AM

                      yeah, maybe, soft shell crab is yummy and it might be wonderful...but i'm already dreading the conversation (in Thai) i'll be having when i tell them that i don't want any julienne apple in it, don't want lots of sugar, do want bla-ra, and please make it spicy ("yes, really")...

                      1. re: Simon
                        g
                        gutsofsteel RE: Simon Oct 27, 2010 10:18 AM

                        Simon, this restaurant serves what many consider the best Thai food in the country. Would the world come to an end if you simply went and tried what they're offering without modifying before even trying it? You always have the option of not going back...or modifying later...

                        1. re: gutsofsteel
                          s
                          Simon RE: gutsofsteel Oct 27, 2010 10:19 AM

                          heh...i don't want any apple in my somtam...sue me... :)

                          1. re: Simon
                            g
                            gutsofsteel RE: Simon Oct 27, 2010 10:21 AM

                            I find that when I am willing to try new combinations, sometimes I get pleasantly surprised. But to each his own.

                            1. re: gutsofsteel
                              s
                              Simon RE: gutsofsteel Oct 27, 2010 10:34 AM

                              sure...but the thing that's sorely lacking in Manhattan is authentic Thai food, not "new combinations"...the sample menu, which smacks one in the face w/ that Great Thai Classic "tuna tartare" as the first item listed, suggests the restaurant is aiming for something else...

                              also, it's normal/usual in Thailand to order your somtam a specific way: Thais will specify number of chilies (usually somewhere between 1 and 9), sweetness, sourness, bla-ra yes/no, etc...this is just normal, like ordering a steak rare to well-done...

                              Nothing would make me happier than if this restaurant lives up to its Vegas rep and provides authentic Thai food (and w/ good wine!, and downtown!)...i'd be delighted...and i was happy to see wingbeans mentioned in the nytimes article, as wingbean salad (yam tua plu) is a fav of mine and previously unavailable in NYC...but the nytimes article also gives one the vague impression that the owners/chef are somewhat being carried along by what their investors/consultants tell them (i.e. the chef's comment about the Niman Ranch beef)...hopefully those same people who tell them to buzzword their menu w/ "Amish" chicken, etc aren't also telling them to homogenize/fusionize the food...

                              1. re: Simon
                                linguafood RE: Simon Oct 27, 2010 10:41 AM

                                here's a crazy idea: why not try their food, and then make up your mind about it?

                                1. re: linguafood
                                  s
                                  Simon RE: linguafood Oct 27, 2010 10:46 AM

                                  i plan to (obviously)...thus all the hope in my comment...but given the hints from the sample menu and the nytimes article, i will be going w/ lowered expectations (not a bad thing)...

                                  1. re: Simon
                                    k
                                    kathryn RE: Simon Oct 27, 2010 10:51 AM

                                    If you compare the sample menu to the Vegas menu, half the dishes on the NYC menu aren't on even on the Vegas menu....could be good, could be bad (I have no idea) but the NYC one isn't just going to be a clone of the LV one, which is what I think a lot of people wanted.

                                2. re: Simon
                                  g
                                  gutsofsteel RE: Simon Oct 27, 2010 11:11 AM

                                  a) what may be lacking in Manhattan has nothing to do with this restaurant and

                                  b) this is not Thailand and

                                  c) just try it and see!

                                  1. re: gutsofsteel
                                    s
                                    Simon RE: gutsofsteel Oct 27, 2010 11:51 AM

                                    a) i disagree...when any restaurant opens anywhere it succeeds, fails, etc based on what is lacking or plentiful, good or bad, that is there already -- if you open an awful frozen pizza place in a place where people have never tasted the combo of crust, sweet tomato sauce, and melted mozzarella, it might do quite well (witness the popularity of Pizza Hut as a "date restaurant" in China)...so it has *everything* to do with this restaurant, which is being seen, just look at the posts and pre-opening excitement, fairly or unfairly, we don't know yet, as the solution to Manhattan's terrible lack of real Thai food...

                                    b) true, thus the utter lack of good Thai food!...and the fact that most Thai food here is prepared in a dulled down, overly sweet, generally crappy way...LOS is being hyped as authentic, so i hope the food and the ordering-methods will be just that...

                                    c) i can't wait :)

                                    1. re: Simon
                                      g
                                      gutsofsteel RE: Simon Oct 27, 2010 12:40 PM

                                      I give up. You have decided to hate it no matter what. :-)

                                      More food for me!

                                      1. re: gutsofsteel
                                        s
                                        Simon RE: gutsofsteel Oct 27, 2010 12:52 PM

                                        uhhhh, i think i stated many (many many) times that i'll be delighted if it's fabulous, i want it to be good, look forward to trying it, etc...i have not decided whether i hate it or love it or somewhere in between because it hasn't opened...i just stated that that sample menu is a bad sign, and hopefully not indicative of what will be served...

                                        anyway, we've debated the preopening signals enough :)

                                        Please report back and review it, because i'm in London now and i won't be able to try it until spring at the earliest...

                                        1. re: Simon
                                          ChiefHDB RE: Simon Oct 27, 2010 02:57 PM

                                          Guts, at least Simon is giving us something to argue about (haha).

                                          My only regret from my trip to Vegas last winter is that I missed out on LOS (and I would be able to compare the two).

                                          Like Simon, I'm a little skeptical of the high cost proteins. There's a niche in Manhattan for great Thai-- Niman Ranch beef or not. Either way, I'll definitely be checking it out well before spring.

              2. re: kathryn
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                chowdadad RE: kathryn Oct 21, 2010 11:32 AM

                Have enjoyed Lotus last four trips to Vegas; it's mystique was that it's small (relative to Vegas) in small strip mall, a local secret with no advertising etc. -I hope it will keep some of that.

                1. re: chowdadad
                  Melanie Wong RE: chowdadad Oct 21, 2010 01:14 PM

                  The NY operation is starting small with a limited menu and wine list. The Grand Cru wine consulting people (formerly with Cru) along with Bank (from LV) are handling the wines. Saipin is training local cooks to execute her dishes. I would expect Las Vegas to stay the same. Friends & Family is next week, and then shooting for the public opening the first week of November.

                  1. re: Melanie Wong
                    c
                    chowdadad RE: Melanie Wong Oct 22, 2010 06:17 AM

                    If it's close to as good as Vegas it will be sooo successful!

            2. linguafood RE: tazerowe Oct 21, 2010 11:05 AM

              Fab news! NYC's easier to get to than LV...

              5 Replies
              1. re: linguafood
                Mandymac RE: linguafood Oct 30, 2010 07:28 AM

                OMG, I go every time I pass through Vegas, and in fact I took a $100 cab ride to get take-out from there while on an airport layover. I'm a high roller for nothing except Thai food.

                1. re: Mandymac
                  Jim Leff RE: Mandymac Oct 30, 2010 09:59 AM

                  If you spent $50 to LOS from airport, you shoulda had that meter tested!

                  1. re: Jim Leff
                    Mandymac RE: Jim Leff Nov 1, 2010 08:27 AM

                    OMG, the cabbie said he had a special "faster" way via the freeway. The tab was so high that we started grumbling and he shut off the meter. It was so sketchy--puts New York to shame. The worst part was the takeout was only so-so (maybe I didn't specify to make it spicy?) and it was a lot of liquid items that were packed in styro, so we had to wolf it down before going through security.

                    1. re: Mandymac
                      Jim Leff RE: Mandymac Nov 1, 2010 08:44 AM

                      YOU TOOK THE FREEWAY TO LOTUS OF SIAM FROM THE AIRPORT???

                      Oh my god....

                      Also, next time make sure you scan this site for dish ordering tips! No way it's so-so if you order right! Sorry it was such a fiasco, but don't abandon hope!

                      1. re: Jim Leff
                        Mandymac RE: Jim Leff Nov 10, 2010 01:02 PM

                        Don't worry -- we had a fantastico meal on our way into Vegas (w/o the billion dollar cab ride), it was just on heading back to NYC, while trying to have one last bite. Believe me, Chowhound definitely steered me right on this one.

              2. d
                Dave Feldman RE: tazerowe Oct 21, 2010 01:54 PM

                The current plan is to open to the public on November 1, although that is not cast in stone. I'm a happy man.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Dave Feldman
                  alanstotle RE: Dave Feldman Oct 27, 2010 07:52 PM

                  As soon as I saw the article in today's NYT I thought of you, Dave.

                  1. re: alanstotle
                    d
                    Dave Feldman RE: alanstotle Oct 28, 2010 01:39 AM

                    I thought of moving to Las Vegas, but then I figured I'd wait for LOS to come to me!

                    1. re: Dave Feldman
                      adamclyde RE: Dave Feldman Oct 29, 2010 06:27 AM

                      Funny. Every time I'm subjected to Las Vegas, I make sure I go to LoS to make the visit tolerable. I've been going there for a decade... I think off of a Chowhound tip from you. Glad you waited them out long enough so they come to you now.

                      I am very interested to see how the quality translates from LV to NY. Now that I just moved to southern california (but commuting to NYC), I'm even more curious to see how it stacks up against some of the good places I now have access to in LA/OC.

                      1. re: adamclyde
                        MVNYC RE: adamclyde Oct 29, 2010 08:36 AM

                        I am with you, stealing away to the Lotus was the only thing that made trips to Las Vegas somewhat bearable. The food there is truly excellent. Definitely interested in seeing how this translates to NY, the changes to the menu are not what I would want but hopefully it shouldn't matter too much.

                2. Jess321 RE: tazerowe Oct 22, 2010 01:20 PM

                  OMG!! This totally made my day/week/year! I can't wait till it opens...lets just hope prices aren't THAT much higher than they are at the original LOS. My mouth is watering at the hopes of a delicious khao soi & mango w/sticky rice!

                  1. h
                    hungrycomposer RE: tazerowe Oct 26, 2010 01:28 PM

                    Any clue as to the prices? This is thrilling. But good Thai in Manhattan? I will believe it when I see it...

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: hungrycomposer
                      d
                      Dave Feldman RE: hungrycomposer Oct 26, 2010 01:46 PM

                      The prices aren't set yet. Expenses (rent, ingredients, labor) are all significantly higher in New York, but there is a real desire to provide value.

                      1. re: Dave Feldman
                        h
                        hungrycomposer RE: Dave Feldman Oct 26, 2010 04:24 PM

                        Which would be greatly appreciated... I've been dying to eat at LOS since Jonathan Gold reviewed it years ago. Great Thai food in Manhattan? A dream come true.

                      2. re: hungrycomposer
                        k
                        kathryn RE: hungrycomposer Oct 26, 2010 06:15 PM

                        http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/27/din...

                        "Lotus of Siam in New York will have higher prices than the Las Vegas restaurant, where only a handful of dishes cost more than $20. Mr. Chutima would not say exactly how much higher, but he said “the rent is far worse than we have back there.” He also said that they would use more expensive ingredients in New York. "

                        1. re: hungrycomposer
                          Mandymac RE: hungrycomposer Oct 30, 2010 07:29 AM

                          The suspense is killing me. Is something about being in Manhattan a killer of Thai restaurants? If LOS can't do it, no one can!

                          1. re: Mandymac
                            s
                            Simon RE: Mandymac Oct 30, 2010 02:44 PM

                            heya...as awful as Manhattan Thai food is, it's not just unique to Manhattan...Thai food is only good/decent in places where there are a large number of Thai people who go to restaurants...LA has many decent places because there are lots of Thai people there who eat out...London has one or two in the outskirts (but pure vile crap within city centre)...ditto NY w/ the Queens exceptionw...ditto Paris, but there are good places close in Chinatown there so Paris suprisingly is better than most ...even in Hong Kong, you have to do a very long trek via subway/walk/bus to go to Kowloon City to get decent Thai food...

                            If LOS solves the problem in Manhattan, they will earn my undying love...let's wait and see...

                        2. s
                          sam1 RE: tazerowe Oct 27, 2010 06:34 PM

                          i live upstairs...they are already having previews with friends and family. the guy at the door said they open in 10 days.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: sam1
                            h
                            happybaker RE: sam1 Oct 27, 2010 08:08 PM

                            I am in LA and am lucky to have so many good Thai restaurants near me. That said - Lotus of Siam rocks!

                            I hope their New York location is just as good as their Las Vegas one. Enjoy folks!

                            -----
                            Lotus of Siam
                            24 5th Ave, New York, NY 10003

                            1. re: sam1
                              Jess321 RE: sam1 Oct 28, 2010 10:25 PM

                              I had a mini freak-out when I saw just how close to my apartment LOS is. I saw people inside so immediately ignored whatever I was doing and walked right in and asked the hostess if they were open. She said no, not yet, but in 10 days. So I don't know if they keep saying 10 days or what, but let's hope its sooner rather than later! I asked if they had a menu I could see, but sadly, no. The online menu is pretty different than the original from the Vegas location, but I'd be interested to see what they churn out here (and how much prices are), even if it costs me my food budget for the month!

                              1. re: sam1
                                ellenost RE: sam1 Nov 2, 2010 07:34 PM

                                Any update as to the opening date and when they will start accepting reservations?

                              2. h
                                hungrycomposer RE: tazerowe Oct 30, 2010 06:50 PM

                                LOS has a facebook account - I'm not sure we'll get any extra news from it, but for those of us who are so excited that their blood pressure is elevated it's one way to keep on top of it...

                                1. Kat RE: tazerowe Oct 31, 2010 05:07 AM

                                  My heart skipped a beat when I first read this on Eater. I hope the menu is similar to the LV LOS because I still daydream about my one meal there, but did not like LV itself so have never returned. Been thinking about an NYC trip after the holidays and now I've got to go. Hmmm, if only In n Out Burger would come east....

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Kat
                                    k
                                    kathryn RE: Kat Oct 31, 2010 08:36 AM

                                    Most likely it won't be, hence the long discussion above:
                                    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/27/din...
                                    http://www.twitpic.com/2z5edc

                                  2. FtheChef RE: tazerowe Nov 1, 2010 11:12 AM

                                    I was happy to hear the news, too. I've been to the Vegas location and enjoyed it very much. For the record, I would say it was on par with SriPraPhai and Chao Thai. (Chai Thai probably being my favorite overall, followed by Lotus of Siam.)

                                    Based on the owner's admitted ignorance of how things work in NYC, I would both give them some slack when they first open and not expect huge things in the short term.

                                    The idea of Lotus of Siam in NYC reminds me of my visit to B&B Ristorante in Vegas. It was like a rushed version of Babbo, though the food was close to on par, I have to say. Lotus of Siam in NYC will probably feel like a rushed version of the Vegas location. In Vegas, though the walls are covered with reviews and there's clearly an awareness of their celebrity, it has a very local, suburbs feel to it. (Rather than being on the strip, it's in a strip-mall.) The way New Yorkers are already going crazy over the NYC opening, hopefully they don't succumb to the pressure and glitz it up too much. They'd kill it immediately.

                                    -----
                                    Babbo
                                    110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

                                    Lotus of Siam
                                    24 5th Ave, New York, NY 10003

                                    1. Melanie Wong RE: tazerowe Nov 3, 2010 01:05 AM

                                      Here's an early look:
                                      http://iwantmorefood.com/2010/11/03/l...

                                      -----
                                      Lotus of Siam
                                      24 5th Ave, New York, NY 10003

                                      10 Replies
                                      1. re: Melanie Wong
                                        The Dairy Queen RE: Melanie Wong Nov 3, 2010 04:10 AM

                                        Oh wow, great link. It all looks wonderful. I'm glad to see nam kao tod still graces the menu. So envious. Now I'll be able to fly east or west for my LOS fix. I wish they'd open up a LOS in Minneapolis. I'd even settle for Chicago.

                                        ~TDQ

                                        1. re: Melanie Wong
                                          p
                                          palooka RE: Melanie Wong Nov 3, 2010 07:03 AM

                                          So is it open yet?

                                          1. re: palooka
                                            d
                                            Dave Feldman RE: palooka Nov 3, 2010 07:33 AM

                                            Soft opening on November 4.

                                            Some details, including menu,here: http://ny.eater.com/archives/2010/11/...

                                            Regular menu expected to start Nov. 11.

                                            1. re: Dave Feldman
                                              c
                                              craig_g RE: Dave Feldman Nov 4, 2010 10:44 AM

                                              The tasting menu is very similar to what they were serving at F&F, and I thought it matched the original for quality and execution.

                                              The crispy rice with sausage, a dish I've found variable in LV, was excellent here. I don't think the tasting menu price is out of line with what you get for it, although I'm pretty interested to see what the regular prices and wine list will look like.

                                              1. re: craig_g
                                                d
                                                Dave Feldman RE: craig_g Nov 4, 2010 08:29 PM

                                                Did you try the two dishes that are new? (The red curry or the spicy shrimp soup)?

                                                1. re: Dave Feldman
                                                  c
                                                  craig_g RE: Dave Feldman Nov 5, 2010 08:13 AM

                                                  No, I'm pretty sure we had the same meal you did. Not sure if they gave you other dishes since you were 5 or 6 and we were only two. I'm not sure what the soup was exactly, but the only curry we had was green chicken.

                                                  1. re: craig_g
                                                    d
                                                    Dave Feldman RE: craig_g Nov 5, 2010 02:26 PM

                                                    Sorry, I misunderstood and thought you ate at LOS last night. The red curry and shrimp soup are definitely on the soft opening prix fixe.

                                                    1. re: Dave Feldman
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                                                      craig_g RE: Dave Feldman Nov 8, 2010 11:03 AM

                                                      Nope, haven't been since we sat next to you. Some of my coworkers are going on Wednesday so I'll report back.

                                              2. re: Dave Feldman
                                                m
                                                Marty L. RE: Dave Feldman Nov 5, 2010 08:24 AM

                                                Open for lunch yet, "soft" or otherwise?

                                                1. re: Marty L.
                                                  d
                                                  Dave Feldman RE: Marty L. Nov 5, 2010 02:25 PM

                                                  No, but they hope to open for lunch in the future.

                                          2. ellenost RE: tazerowe Nov 3, 2010 02:42 PM

                                            Just booked my reservation on OpenTable. Can't wait!

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: ellenost
                                              n
                                              nyawira RE: ellenost Nov 10, 2010 06:22 AM

                                              Me too. Have a reservation for early December. I have read not so great soft opening reviews. Does anyone have additional comments to make since their opening?

                                              1. re: nyawira
                                                ellenost RE: nyawira Nov 10, 2010 07:55 AM

                                                My dinner resy is for next week, and I'll report in.

                                            2. BaconBits RE: tazerowe Nov 11, 2010 07:36 PM

                                              I went tonight for dinner. They were serving their full menu. I went with 1 other person. We ordered 1 appetizer and 2 entrees. Appetizer: Thai Chicken Wings. Entree 1: Sea bass with drunken noodle. Entree 3: Crispy Duck Penang.

                                              Everything was delicious. Fresh. Well prepared. Service has some hiccups, but I believe that is to be expected this early. I will definitely go back. Note however, that it is not cheap.

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: BaconBits
                                                adamclyde RE: BaconBits Nov 11, 2010 09:04 PM

                                                And by not cheap, you mean...

                                                1. re: adamclyde
                                                  BaconBits RE: adamclyde Nov 12, 2010 04:47 AM

                                                  Entrees were in the $26 - $30 range if I remember. We did not drink, were not charged for the appetizer, and it came out to around $63.

                                                  1. re: BaconBits
                                                    s
                                                    Simon RE: BaconBits Nov 12, 2010 10:32 AM

                                                    so, w/ two appetizers and a bottle of Riesling added in, we'd be looking at around $150 w/ tax and tip?

                                              2. f
                                                food RE: tazerowe Nov 12, 2010 01:52 PM

                                                I've been there a bunch of times. For Vegas It's good but nothing that great. Pongsri and a bunch of other places are just as good....

                                                -----
                                                Pongsri
                                                244 W 48th St, New York, NY 10036

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: food
                                                  p
                                                  Pan RE: food Nov 12, 2010 10:07 PM

                                                  Pongsri has branches in Las Vegas, or you mean the Pongsri branches we have here in Manhattan, or is there an independent restaurant in Las Vegas that's also named Pongsri?

                                                2. t
                                                  tjdnewyork RE: tazerowe Nov 16, 2010 06:31 PM

                                                  Not bad, but expensive for what it is, I think. The design is solidly mediocre--patches of spackling still evident on the walls, not memorable in any way, just very generic "classy" with a little touch of the exotic. Food was significantly worse than Sripriphai for the standards, and I thought the more gourmet dishes weren't great and were quite pricey. Spice was way way way too weak. I've never had a som tum with that little chile. They didn't ask so I assumed the default was medium, while it was actually a very weak mild. When I asked for a later dish to be spicier it came out with just a tiny hint of spice, and these were dishes that are meant to be spicy, I think: som tum, green curry, larb. I probably will not return, even though I'm nearby, unless I hear raves in the future.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: tjdnewyork
                                                    buttertart RE: tjdnewyork Nov 17, 2010 05:52 AM

                                                    Exactly as I feared. What a shame.

                                                  2. r
                                                    rrems RE: tazerowe Nov 18, 2010 03:09 PM

                                                    I'm surprised no one has mentioned the skimpy portion sizes (same complaint I have about Kin Shop). We went last night, had 2 apps, 2 mains, and 1 dessert and though we did not leave hungry I think in future I would at least order another appetizer. Of course, this means it is quite expensive. Food quality varied. The pork larb was rather bland, not nearly as good as the duck larb we had at Kin Shop. It wasn't just the mild spice, either, as I am not a purist and prefer moderate spice over mouth-burning heat. The flavor was one-dimensional. The fish cakes, on the other hand, were delicious, but the 4 tiny cakes were a pretty meager portion. The soft-shell crab was delicious, but just one small crab and a few noodles, and the penang curry crispy duck was likewise delicious but had extremely little meat on the crispy skin. The white rice served with it helped to make it a bit more filling but when you're charging an average of $25 an entree there should be more food. The sticky rice dessert was tasty enough but I don't think I would order it again. We liked the selection of beers (we both had the stout). Service was good, though it took a while before our order was taken. Once that was done, the pacing was fine, but they brought the check the second we finished dessert without waiting for us to ask. Over all, I still think this is a big step above typical Manhattan Thai food, and will definitely give it another try, but to those expecting high-quality traditional Thai I would say you are likely to be disappointed.

                                                    8 Replies
                                                    1. re: rrems
                                                      ellenost RE: rrems Nov 18, 2010 06:14 PM

                                                      Wow rrems, I agree with you 100%. Just returned from my eagerly anticipated dinner at LOS with my sister, and we had the exact same reaction: skimpy portions at fairly high prices. We also had 2 appetizers and 2 mains, and we were still hungry, so we ordered a noodle dish that my sister figured we would have some to take home. No way, the noodle dish was barely an appetizer sized portion. Food alone was $90, and we ordered a half bottle of Riesling that wasn't on the wine list that (unbeknownst to us) was $125--we were originally planning to order a whole bottle for $100 (which is at EMP price levels--not the price of LOS in LV). While the food was very tasty, we probably won't return in a hurry. BTW, our appetizers were the chicken wings and the tuna tartare. Our main dishes were the green curry with chicken and the short ribs. Service was okay, but we needed to keep looking for our waiter to refill our wine glasses. To sum up: tasty food in a casual setting charging almost haute cuisine prices for skimpy portions.

                                                      1. re: ellenost
                                                        p
                                                        Pan RE: ellenost Nov 18, 2010 07:50 PM

                                                        Just curious: Why didn't you ask what the wine was going to cost? I can't imagine ordering wine without asking that question.

                                                        1. re: Pan
                                                          ellenost RE: Pan Nov 19, 2010 05:23 AM

                                                          Since my wine of choice is German Riesling, I am very familiar with its cost. I am also quite familiar with the LOS LV wine list, and have always marveled at its reasonableness. To be honest, the cost didn't bother me too much since I have paid as much at high end restaurants; my point is that NY LOS is not a high end restaurant, and they're charging much more than their LV location. I would not have blinked or commented on the cost if I had oredered the same bottle at EMP. I also know that the same bottle would have been much more expensive at Per Se. BTW, it was an exxcellent bottle of Riesling.

                                                          1. re: ellenost
                                                            adamclyde RE: ellenost Nov 19, 2010 06:38 AM

                                                            for a point of reference, four of us were at LOS in LV 2 days ago. Apps: larb salad, papaya salad, prawns/bacon, crispy rice/isaan sausage, tom yum soup; for entrees, deep fried sea bass, crispy duck, khao soi. Followed by dessert. One bottle of wine by my guests, "sea smoke"?

                                                            For four, $230 w/out tip. So, a lot of food and we were stuffed as full as we could be. But also not totally dirt cheap there (but oh, so very, very worth every penny and more... quality there as good as ever for me).

                                                            1. re: adamclyde
                                                              ellenost RE: adamclyde Nov 19, 2010 08:18 AM

                                                              My bill for 2 was $230 before tip; I'll definitely try LOS in LV next time (sounds like much better value).

                                                              1. re: adamclyde
                                                                hungryann RE: adamclyde Dec 15, 2010 06:36 PM

                                                                Does anyone know if they have khao soi at the NY location?

                                                                1. re: hungryann
                                                                  m
                                                                  michelleats RE: hungryann Dec 15, 2010 08:17 PM

                                                                  They have khao soi shortrib listed on the menu. I haven't tried it, so I can't tell you how it is.

                                                        2. re: rrems
                                                          t
                                                          tjdnewyork RE: rrems Nov 18, 2010 09:52 PM

                                                          Agreed about the portion size, though some things were bigger than others: The fish cake portions were really egregiously small, as you say. The curries weren't bad. At least they didn't try to charge extra for the rice, though one weird thing was the way that they put non-sticky rice in the sticky rice basket, which ends up being a messy endeavor. Another weird thing was the spoons: As most people know, a fork and a standard-size spoon are the default personal utensils for Thai food, with chopsticks occasionally deployed for Chinese-Thai dishes. LOS only had these enormous forks or flat fish-serving forks, so you couldn't easily use either for a personal utensil. I guess there are actual Thai people involved in this place, but details like this make it somewhat hard to believe they would ever want to eat here themselves.

                                                        3. sing me a bar RE: tazerowe Dec 3, 2010 07:59 AM

                                                          I really have to wonder how long they'll last. In the present-day economy, price matters. That location is not one that lends itself to high volume and when I see the tiny portions, I have to believe NY'ers will go to a more authentic, simpler model for fairer pricing and larger portions. The alternative venues may not have the ambiance, but, whether it's Wondee or Pongsri or even some of the more pedestrian possibilities, I would never pay these prices for teensie weensy tastes of Thai.

                                                          -----
                                                          Pongsri
                                                          244 W 48th St, New York, NY 10036

                                                          23 Replies
                                                          1. re: sing me a bar
                                                            buttertart RE: sing me a bar Dec 3, 2010 08:28 AM

                                                            They got some bad business advice. Roll into a medium-sized space in a high-traffic area with original menu and Manhattan Thai food prices - even a bit higher than usual - and they would have to be beating people away from the doors with a stick.

                                                            1. re: buttertart
                                                              sing me a bar RE: buttertart Dec 3, 2010 06:20 PM

                                                              I walked by tonight at prime time. It was a third full, maybe a tad more. Not good for a Friday night. That spot has a rep for being kind of a cursed location, but a lot has to do with what an operator pays in rent there. Pictures that diners have taken reflect pretty small portions, so I guess it's trying to be an ambiance place for those with more expendable capital than most in this economy. I saw a couple leaving who looked pretty surly. I wonder if it was the impact of the $200 bill...

                                                              1. re: sing me a bar
                                                                buttertart RE: sing me a bar Dec 4, 2010 06:42 AM

                                                                What a drag, such a wasted opportunity.

                                                                1. re: buttertart
                                                                  s
                                                                  Simon RE: buttertart Dec 4, 2010 07:34 AM

                                                                  from the preview article that was posted above w/ its quotes from the "owner" and from the sample menu, it was painfully clear that the original LOS folk were being steered by business partners (likely the real owners) into creating a lame overpriced wannabe-trendy Manhattan place (as opposed to bringing us the authentic Thai food they are known for in Vegas)...

                                                                  yup, wasted opportunity sounds accurate...while i've not been there yet since i'm in London, all these terrible reviews come as no surprise...

                                                                  1. re: Simon
                                                                    buttertart RE: Simon Dec 5, 2010 06:59 AM

                                                                    Gaah, a complete shame. Wannabe trendy we got in spades.

                                                                    1. re: buttertart
                                                                      bigjeff RE: buttertart Dec 5, 2010 09:25 AM

                                                                      if anything, it's a bigger loss for the LoS brand. not that I've been to the one in Vegas, so I really can't speak to it, but I did have a meal there (pre-opening) and, I'll just reserve judgment until I actually pay for a meal at either location.

                                                                      1. re: bigjeff
                                                                        Jim Leff RE: bigjeff Dec 6, 2010 07:04 AM

                                                                        If there was an actual LoS "brand", none of these problems would be happening.

                                                                        The problem is that LoS is a restaurant, not a brand. And the reputation, quality, and personality of that restaurant is not something that can magically jump, like a spark, from one kitchen to another. "Brands" create consistency via tight regimentation and standardization, neither of which are applicable to an operation based on love and magic. You can't "brand" LoS any more than you can brand your significant other's welcome-home hug.

                                                                        Nothing about NYC affects the fact that the Las Vegas restaurant is The Bomb, and it will continue to be a magnet for those who appreciate its quality. But that bomb-ness in and of itself is not recreatable elsewhere precisely because this is NOT a brand.

                                                                        1. re: Jim Leff
                                                                          bigjeff RE: Jim Leff Dec 6, 2010 07:15 AM

                                                                          I've always heard of LoS as the holy grail of Thai food in america, etc. so, if the NYC one does poorly (and who knows, its quite early and hard to say) then that would eventually reflect on LoS in LV; for whatever reason that the owners have decided on this eastward expansion, they bring with them all the expectations of this reputation, e.g. brand. two very different restaurants with different setup/locations/etc; I just hope that our local branch or expansion or whatever this thing should be called (chainlet?) can find its proper footing. of course it ain't no P.F. Chang's but say, Morimotos are found in different cities; they all strive for consistency in each of their locations. Or, our hyper-local Wondee/Sripraphai empires.

                                                                          1. re: Jim Leff
                                                                            Bob Martinez RE: Jim Leff Dec 6, 2010 07:19 AM

                                                                            The Grand Sichuan chain has managed to create a very successful brand. The restaurants aren't identical but the overall quality level is high.

                                                                            1. re: Bob Martinez
                                                                              Jim Leff RE: Bob Martinez Dec 6, 2010 07:28 AM

                                                                              Bob, my point wasn't that all brands are evil or bad. Just that operations built upon love and magic can't scale without tight regimentation and standardization...which, in turn, kill the love and magic.

                                                                              I like Grand Sichuan, too. But it's not about a knowing, loving touch. It's just good recipes, good ingredients, and a kitchen trained not to F up. Same for Sripraphai, which I liked (and wrote about) very early on, but which never offered much personal in the cooking (and, sure enough, they've expanded quite well into a new restaurant on Long Island).

                                                                              Lotus of Siam is a couple and their special touch. It's different. It's the antithesis of branding, and thus of scaling.

                                                                              -----
                                                                              Lotus of Siam
                                                                              24 5th Ave, New York, NY 10003

                                                                              1. re: Jim Leff
                                                                                g
                                                                                gutsofsteel RE: Jim Leff Dec 6, 2010 01:42 PM

                                                                                Then what a big big mistake it was for them to try in NYC.

                                                                            2. re: Jim Leff
                                                                              g
                                                                              gutsofsteel RE: Jim Leff Dec 6, 2010 01:42 PM

                                                                              There are plenty of examples of restaurants that have been successfully recreated - both in terms of food quality and business model. And when the third place is successsful....voila, a "brand."

                                                                              1. re: gutsofsteel
                                                                                buttertart RE: gutsofsteel Dec 6, 2010 02:01 PM

                                                                                I'm missing something, since the LV restaurant is known to be so good, why not just replicate same here in NYC where there are surely more patrons who would go crazy for the food and they would do extremely well, rather than get in seemingly over their heads in a foofy upscale and overpriced (especially for this market) venture? They could charge more than I imagine they do in LV because restaurant prices here are obviously higher due to rents and other costs. Brand? Chain? No, two restaurants owned by the same people who strive for the same kind of excellence in two different venues, just as Sri does in Queens and on LI.

                                                                                1. re: buttertart
                                                                                  Jess321 RE: buttertart Dec 6, 2010 02:32 PM

                                                                                  I recall reading somewhere that the owner of LoS would drive each week to farmer's markets in LA or specialty stores to pick up noodles and other things, and I'm assuming they can't get those same ingredients in NYC, maybe that's why the menu is different? I haven't been to the one here yet, because it's wayyy out of my price range, but I LOVE the original location and can't wait till my next Vegas visit to enjoy some quality khao soi.

                                                                                  1. re: buttertart
                                                                                    Bob Martinez RE: buttertart Dec 7, 2010 05:23 AM

                                                                                    During the soft opening I was uneasy to hear that the kitchen staff had no history of cooking in Thai restaurants and that there were no reports of the new staff being sent to Los Vegas to be trained. They also didn't send any of the Los Vegas staff to NY to serve as a veteran group that would stabilize the kitchen until the other people came up to speed.

                                                                                    And finally, the chef/owner from Las Vegas hung around for a month and then got on a plane. It's like she flew over New York at 10,000 feet and dropped the restaurant down by parachute.

                                                                                    So I'm not surprised to read a lot of reports that the food is underwhelming. Add in the higher price point (which ratchets up expectations) and you've got a formula for trouble.

                                                                                    1. re: Bob Martinez
                                                                                      buttertart RE: Bob Martinez Dec 7, 2010 05:47 AM

                                                                                      Oh God. That's just great, in so many ways. You're right about the trouble.

                                                                                      1. re: Bob Martinez
                                                                                        g
                                                                                        gutsofsteel RE: Bob Martinez Dec 7, 2010 06:12 AM

                                                                                        "the chef/owner from Las Vegas hung around for a month and then got on a plane. It's like she flew over New York at 10,000 feet and dropped the restaurant down by parachute."

                                                                                        So much for "love and magic"

                                                                                        1. re: gutsofsteel
                                                                                          buttertart RE: gutsofsteel Dec 7, 2010 06:15 AM

                                                                                          And the cooks have no experience cooking Thai food. COME ON! What, did someone tell them "go to NY, you'll make a killing, people will pay whatever you ask for whatever food you put out"?

                                                                                          1. re: buttertart
                                                                                            Bob Martinez RE: buttertart Dec 7, 2010 06:26 AM

                                                                                            I suspect there are investors around who figured the LoS-LV would be magic. And it was, until people actually tried the food. It could and should have been better. Why not bring some of the Los Vegas chefs to NY for awhile? Why not poach some staff from Sri or Ayada?

                                                                                            Inexplicable.

                                                                                            1. re: Bob Martinez
                                                                                              Bob Martinez RE: Bob Martinez Dec 9, 2010 05:37 AM

                                                                                              "I suspect there are investors around who figured the LoS-LV would be magic."

                                                                                              Oops. What I meant to say was "I suspect there are investors around who figured the LoS-LV *name* would be magic."

                                                                                      2. re: buttertart
                                                                                        HomeCookKirsten RE: buttertart Dec 8, 2010 07:34 PM

                                                                                        Heading there Friday so will weigh in, but as a former southwest long-time resident and now a year-old New Yorker, I was SO excited LOS was coming, but was also concerned about how it would translate.

                                                                                        First, for me, the magic of LOS was not just the food (which was always good to outstanding) but how sharp of contrast it played against all things Vegas. So it IS cheap compared to restaurants in casinos on the strip, but against a lot of other great Manhattan restaurants, even Vegas off-strip prices would not seem cheap. So the value thing is a bit of a misperception in my opinion. When I moved to Manhattan I was shocked at how inexpensive some restaurants/wine lists/cocktails were as compared to Scottsdale/Las Vegas/Los Angeles.

                                                                                        Then, beyond price, the atmostphere of "authentic" is also so much more elevated because Las Vegas can be so surreal and the strip so fake and perfect, but against what I think is authentic "real-ness" in Manhattan, not sure how it will hold up?

                                                                                        And while people speak about (myself included in the past) the cheap, authentic cheerfullness of LOS Vegas, it honestly is not that cheap or authentic...just as it compares to Vegas. And, the food and service were always excellent. But there is a lot of competition in NYC.

                                                                                        Anyway, I am very excited to try it, but the key attributes that I think helped elevate it's fame to almost mythological standards (aside from Johnathan Gold's infamous opinion as printed in Gourmet) aren't applicable in the NYC location, so I am actually curious to see how I will feel about it. Nostalgia may prevail for me personally, but again, curious. Will report back!

                                                                                        1. re: HomeCookKirsten
                                                                                          d
                                                                                          david t. RE: HomeCookKirsten Dec 11, 2010 01:50 PM

                                                                                          Why did they move to NYC? If they wanted a higher profile, I think the more logical move would be to LA where they originally started from before relocating to the bright lights of Vegas.

                                                                                          I've been to the restaurant and it's not a fining dining type place, rather a modest lovely family type restaurant. The rents would have been more in line with the menu costs. And then Vegas is already filled with LA weekenders, so they would already have the same built-in clientele. A restaurant this good deserves to do well, but these comments are looking bad.

                                                                                          1. re: david t.
                                                                                            HomeCookKirsten RE: david t. Dec 17, 2010 04:59 PM

                                                                                            Reporting back from my first visit (will go again), and it was good...but as I suspected, lacks some of the magic of the not-so-charming (atmosphere)-but-great Vegas outpost.

                                                                                            Tried the boneless stuffed chicken wings, issan larb, pad see-ew and pad prik king. The boneless wings were excellent, the larb was astonishingly hot (which I liked) and the pad see-ew and pad prik king were not as memorable as I recall in Las Vegas, but overall very good, just not head and shoulders above some less expensive neighborhood-type places.

                                                                                            Also, they have not yet built up their wine list and wine options that the Vegas location is so well known for are not yet available, but they were very accomodating and tried very hard to ensure we had what we wanted and within a price range we specified. And they did mention that the list will be growing with each wine order they receive.

                                                                                            Service was accomodating and matched the price point. Going again, will see how the second time goes.

                                                                    2. m
                                                                      michelleats RE: tazerowe Dec 15, 2010 09:30 PM

                                                                      I've had four meals, here, now, since I live close to the restaurant. We started out being very impressed with the restaurant when we ate there during the soft opening. In later visits, though, we found that certain ingredients were just not consistently well sourced. Prawns, crab and fish have been insufficiently fresh at times for a restaurant of this price point. Other dishes that don't rely so much on very fresh ingredients are much better, though. The nam kao tod (crispy rice) has been consistently good.

                                                                      It's not amazing restaurant, but it's not bad, either. I just find it pricey for the quality of the food when I mentally compare it to other restaurants of all different cuisines in NYC and in the West Village, in particular. I would hate to think that it's the best Thai restaurant in the country as some have dubbed the LV location. Because if it is, Thai food in the US would be in a worse place than I thought.

                                                                      14 Replies
                                                                      1. re: michelleats
                                                                        k
                                                                        kagemusha49 RE: michelleats Jan 14, 2011 09:23 PM

                                                                        If the nam kao tod is good then every thing is fine - you New Yorkers just need to get over the description of "minced sour sausage" and realize that this is a truly great dish. Frankly I could almost live on that single dish alone as it is that good. These folks will figure out how to iron out the kinks.

                                                                        1. re: kagemusha49
                                                                          k
                                                                          kathryn RE: kagemusha49 Jan 15, 2011 06:50 AM

                                                                          You're saying that if one dish is fine that negated insufficiently fresh seafood and high prices?

                                                                          This is Manhattan, you don't GET a year to work out the kinks. They've been open almost 3 months.

                                                                          From what I've read, the menu is a third of the LV branch, has been fancified and gussied up since that's what they "think New Yorkers want" (I've heard from more than one source it feels less authentic and more Westernized than the original), prices are higher, and the owners were here for a short time to train local chefs, then left.

                                                                          1. re: kathryn
                                                                            k
                                                                            kagemusha49 RE: kathryn Jan 15, 2011 07:48 AM

                                                                            I can read you know. All I'm saying is that if they only served that one dish I'd go there and quite frequently too.

                                                                            1. re: kagemusha49
                                                                              Bob Martinez RE: kagemusha49 Jan 15, 2011 07:57 AM

                                                                              What a great concept - a one dish Thai restaurant. Sounds like a winner.

                                                                              1. re: Bob Martinez
                                                                                k
                                                                                kagemusha49 RE: Bob Martinez Jan 15, 2011 08:03 AM

                                                                                I'm not recommending this as a business strategy but you folks are supposed to be foodies, right? Are you telling me you cannot think of restaurants that you would go to solely because of one great dish that they serve?

                                                                                1. re: Bob Martinez
                                                                                  ellenost RE: Bob Martinez Jan 15, 2011 08:03 AM

                                                                                  I wonder wether the LOS LV folks bother to read sites like CH to realize that they better return to NY soon to fix the problems. Otherwise people like me who visit LV every year won't bother visiting their LV location since I'll think it's more of the same: good food, tiny portions and high prices (oh yes, located off the strip so I'll need taxis--a definite "must" on my next visit to LV).

                                                                                  1. re: ellenost
                                                                                    linguafood RE: ellenost Jan 15, 2011 11:03 AM

                                                                                    I doubt that. The original LOS's reputation won't be affected by some stupid NYC plant. Great food, moderate prices, awesome wine list. And unless you're at the other end of the strip, not *that* much of a cab ride.

                                                                                    1. re: linguafood
                                                                                      ellenost RE: linguafood Jan 15, 2011 11:16 AM

                                                                                      I had hoped that the LOS team would have taken NYC more seriously and not just opened a restaurant and left it to "sink or swim" on its own. LOS LV has always received the highest of praise, and on my list of restaurants to visit when I'm in LV, so I was very disappointed with what has opened in NYC as any type of representation of the high quality that I had expected from LOS.

                                                                                      1. re: ellenost
                                                                                        linguafood RE: ellenost Jan 15, 2011 11:27 AM

                                                                                        Yes, it's a bummer. NYC is much closer for me than Vegas, I have no idea when (if ever) I'll go back. Guess I'll have to find another Thai place in the city or outer boroughs to satisfy my cravings.

                                                                                2. re: kagemusha49
                                                                                  k
                                                                                  kathryn RE: kagemusha49 Jan 15, 2011 08:12 AM

                                                                                  You said "If the nam kao tod is good then every thing is fine" which is different than saying "I'd go back for that one dish and ignore all other problems."

                                                                                  1. re: kathryn
                                                                                    k
                                                                                    kagemusha49 RE: kathryn Jan 15, 2011 08:22 AM

                                                                                    I apologize - I should have said everything will work out to be fine eventually. Sloppy wording on my part. Of course they should fix the other problems. Not only can I read, I'm not stupid either. (waiting for the derisive comments on Tulsa now)

                                                                                    1. re: kagemusha49
                                                                                      m
                                                                                      michelleats RE: kagemusha49 Jan 15, 2011 10:02 AM

                                                                                      Hey, I get where you're coming from, kagemusha. And now that I think about it, there are plenty of places I go for one dish, only (i.e. the pho at Xe Lua, the "lion's head" meatballs at an otherwise awful Chinese hole in the wall). Maybe this is a good approach for me when I go to Lotus of Siam, since I do inevitably feel left down when I have dinner there and order a lot of other things. Nam kao tod it is from now on!

                                                                                      (As an aside, I do wish they'd use more potent sausage; the Lotus of Siam version in NYC uses a very, very mild sausage that almost tastes like Vietnamese cold cuts.)

                                                                                      I cannot wait to someday visit the original in LV. By the sound of it, I need to have the nam kao tod, there!

                                                                                      -----
                                                                                      Xe Lua
                                                                                      86 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10013

                                                                                      Lotus of Siam
                                                                                      24 5th Ave, New York, NY 10003

                                                                                      1. re: michelleats
                                                                                        The Dairy Queen RE: michelleats Jan 15, 2011 03:37 PM

                                                                                        LOS' nam kao tod is absolutely crave-worthy. I've only had it in LV, but if it's as delicious in LOS's new location, I'd be so happy. I hope they resolve their other issues soon!

                                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                          m
                                                                                          michelleats RE: The Dairy Queen Jan 16, 2011 09:04 AM

                                                                                          You guys are making me so jealous. I don't usually have many excuses to go to LV, but it sounds like I need to find one soon!

                                                                          2. s
                                                                            Simon RE: tazerowe Jan 16, 2011 11:03 AM

                                                                            i ate there last night...fortunately i wasn't paying (i was treated by the two others i was with) because i would been livid if i'd spent a penny there...i even went w/ very low expectations...five of six dishes were awful, and one was merely ok...this restaurant is a disgrace...

                                                                            -- tuna tartar...fine, tiny portion, forgettable...the only dish that was even half-decent (but there are 100 places in NY that do it better)

                                                                            -- chicken larb...blandest version of this i've ever had...no rice powder, literally zero chilies -- just some ground chicken and bits of onion...(and we requested it spicy)...so lacking in flavor that i'd hesitate to even classify it as larb at all...

                                                                            -- somdam...also requested spicy: again, literally zero chilies, no discernable lime, maybe 1/4 teaspoon of peanuts...a disgrace...(and had it been good, the portion size would have been an issue: there are enough for each of the three of us to eat two bites, for 14 dollars...but given how bad it was i didn't care to have more than one bite)...

                                                                            -- nam kao tod...tasted like old leftover microwaved rice...hardly any sausage in it at all...

                                                                            -- pork prik king...tough pieces of pork, brown overly salted sauce w/ the barest hint of red curry paste...overcooked green beans...gross...most any mediocre Americanized Thai place (e.g. Spice near NYU) does this dish better than LOS...

                                                                            -- rad na w/ tofu...the rice noodles were overcooked into one congealed blob...tofu utterly flavorless...another disgrace...

                                                                            The food being served here is even lower quality than a normal bad cheap Americanized Thai place...but at double the prices...the problem at most Americanized places is usually that the food is way too sweet...but at LOS it's that seem to have left out the spices entirely...i didn't know it was even possible to cook a Thai meal with this little flavor...

                                                                            Chatting w/ the bartender, i learned that the LV founders have not been there in ages and that the kitchen has only one Thai person working in it...

                                                                            They do have nice wines and beers, and the room is nicely lit...but that's the only nice things i can say...

                                                                            Avoid this place like the plague...

                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Simon
                                                                              linguafood RE: Simon Jan 16, 2011 11:13 AM

                                                                              Seriously - tell us how you *really* feel '-)

                                                                              1. re: Simon
                                                                                k
                                                                                kagemusha49 RE: Simon Jan 16, 2011 01:03 PM

                                                                                I'll probably be visiting the Vegas LOS within a month. I'll make a point of asking them what the deal is.

                                                                                1. re: kagemusha49
                                                                                  s
                                                                                  Simon RE: kagemusha49 Jan 16, 2011 05:48 PM

                                                                                  i'm sure the Vegas branch is good...i think the deal is fairly clear: good LV restaurant owners are offered good money by NYC investors, who set out to capitalize on the rep of the original, yet the investors have lame instincts, and deliver the same old *&%#...they hire idiotic consulants who tell the LV people what to do and insist on using buzzwords as a way of marking up prices and advise them to dull down the food to lowest common deminator...then they gear the PR machine and get hacks at various newspapers and magazines who haven't a clue about Asian food to add to the hype...

                                                                                  the result: some bridge&tunnel buzz, bad food, and a wasted opportunity...the only way to save this place would be fire everyone in the kitchen and bring in some people, preferably actual Thai people, to cook Thai food...but that'd be easy...instead they'll prob just add a few more buzzwords like "line-caught" or "farm-raised" to the menu and raise the prices...this is like a textbook example of a bad spinoff restaurant NY-style...

                                                                              2. bigjeff RE: tazerowe Jan 18, 2011 05:54 AM

                                                                                they are getting some very favorable coverage in the NY weekly-mag media (the usual suspects); I just thought it was funny that NYMag at least gives a nod to CH whereas VV never mentions the word "chow" or "hound" in any of their writing. But then NYMag always paints CH-types as a bunch of cheapskates; what's with the snobbery, dude? Sorry buddy, the 7-train is where it's at.

                                                                                http://nymag.com/restaurants/reviews/...

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: bigjeff
                                                                                  buttertart RE: bigjeff Jan 18, 2011 06:06 AM

                                                                                  VV never mentions us because they'd pretty much have to cop to cribbing from CH if they did.

                                                                                2. k
                                                                                  kathryn RE: tazerowe Jan 24, 2011 07:18 AM

                                                                                  Lotus of Siam Owners Leave NY Outpost to Protect Reputation
                                                                                  http://ny.eater.com/archives/2011/01/...

                                                                                  -----
                                                                                  Lotus of Siam
                                                                                  24 5th Ave, New York, NY 10003

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: kathryn
                                                                                    bigjeff RE: kathryn Jan 24, 2011 07:29 PM

                                                                                    thanks kathryn, I just read the article. great move on part of the Chutimas to stand by their health and their morals.

                                                                                    1. re: bigjeff
                                                                                      p
                                                                                      Pookipichu RE: bigjeff Jan 25, 2011 07:11 AM

                                                                                      They could have attempted something more modest, more authentic. The whole exercise was pointless and insulting to think that somehow New York diners demand a watered down version of a Las Vegas restaurant. No loss, there's Sripraphai.

                                                                                  2. g
                                                                                    gutsofsteel RE: tazerowe Jan 25, 2011 11:43 PM

                                                                                    from today's NYT:

                                                                                    SAIPIN CHUTIMA and her husband, Bill, who own Lotus of Siam in Las Vegas, are no longer associated with the branch they helped open this fall in the former Cru space at 24 Fifth Avenue (Ninth Street). They cite personal health problems and say the restaurant was more upscale and expensive than they had wanted, unlike the Las Vegas original. Roy Welland, who owns the New York restaurant, said it would stay the same and that for New York, it was affordable.

                                                                                    -----
                                                                                    Lotus of Siam
                                                                                    24 5th Ave, New York, NY 10003

                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: gutsofsteel
                                                                                      ellenost RE: gutsofsteel Jan 26, 2011 06:21 AM

                                                                                      Well, best of luck to Roy! Without the involvement of the LV team, there is no reason why I'd ever return to the pale ghost that is LOS NY. With the high prices, tiny portions and no pedigree chef, I imagine LOS NY will be closed within the year (unless some people get fooled into believing that this is the same as LOS LV). I hope the LOS LV team gets their lawyer involved to force the LOS NY to change its name so people don't get fooled.

                                                                                      1. re: ellenost
                                                                                        bigjeff RE: ellenost Jan 26, 2011 06:40 AM

                                                                                        http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.co...

                                                                                        1. re: ellenost
                                                                                          buttertart RE: ellenost Jan 27, 2011 04:24 AM

                                                                                          Pride goeth before a fall department. I thought "good luck, buddy" when I read that too. However, as bigjeff says, not everyone is a food nerd and there is lots of money in this city.

                                                                                      2. bigjeff RE: tazerowe Jan 26, 2011 07:31 AM

                                                                                        also, maybe folks eating at LoS-NY simply haven't heard of the Vegas branch and just see it as another nice thai restaurant in the neighborhood? not everyone is a food-nerd, and not everyone has been to Vegas. for me, the fact that I've never been to Vegas but I am a food-nerd cancels me out I guess.

                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: bigjeff
                                                                                          i8NYC RE: bigjeff Jan 27, 2011 05:40 AM

                                                                                          The entrees are solid. The apps were lacking. Not tiny portions as some claim.

                                                                                          1. re: linguafood
                                                                                            adamclyde RE: linguafood Jan 28, 2011 05:45 AM

                                                                                            the beauty of the Vegas location is that it is in a mall. A soulless strip mall a ways off the typical Vegas beaten path. It's nice and clean inside and all, but the emphasis is all on the things that matter (the food), not the things that don't (tony locations, extravagant decor, etc.).

                                                                                            1. re: adamclyde
                                                                                              buttertart RE: adamclyde Jan 28, 2011 05:53 AM

                                                                                              A propos Chinese expression: You can't eat the decorations.

                                                                                              1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                i8NYC RE: buttertart Jan 28, 2011 06:00 AM

                                                                                                Chinese people eat everything on the ground besides chairs and tables and eat anything in the sky besides airplanes. Any creature with its back facing the sky is fair game :)

                                                                                                1. re: i8NYC
                                                                                                  buttertart RE: i8NYC Jan 28, 2011 06:04 AM

                                                                                                  Yes indeed.

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