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Lotus of Siam in NYC

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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    1. re: gutsofsteel

      Holy som tum, Batman! This is really exciting.

      1. re: gutsofsteel

        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: Melanie Wong

            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

              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

                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

                  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

                    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

                      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

                        Worry not. Khao soi is in your future.

                  2. re: Simon

                    soft shell crab somtam????? yum.

                    1. re: bigjeff

                      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

                        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

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

                          1. re: Simon

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

                            1. re: gutsofsteel

                              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

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

                                1. re: linguafood

                                  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

                                    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

                                  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

                                    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

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

                                      More food for me!

                                      1. re: gutsofsteel

                                        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

                                          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

                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

                  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

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

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

              5 Replies
              1. re: linguafood

                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

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

                  1. re: Jim Leff

                    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

                      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

                        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. 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

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

                  1. re: alanstotle

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

                    1. re: Dave Feldman

                      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

                        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. 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. 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

                      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

                        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

                        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

                          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

                            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...