I went to Fatty Crab for the first time last week. My brother and I hit the Upper West Side version and we really enjoyed the food. But our waiter was overbearing–sell!, sell!, sell!–and the food was not cheap.
Then, a few nights ago, I had dinner at Lotus of Siam, the new Thai place on 5th Avenue just off 9th Street. I went with a pal and we arrived early, at 6:00. The host snarled when we told him that we didn’t have a reservation.
“Did that guy just snarl at us?” I said to my friend. “The dining room is half-empty and he”
It was a chilly way to start the evening. Then our waitress…oh, the waitress. “She’s young,” my pal said. I tried to sympathize even though she was either overwhelmed or simply not especially interested in her job. But at $26 an entree, man, I want the service to be welcoming, informative, at least competent. I can deal with rude, like if an old Jewish waiter spills soup on you and then balls you out, but aloof, I can’t abide.
The food was yummy but the portions were small and it was not cheap. Worst of all, I didn’t leave the place feeling happy. I left longing for SriPraPhai in Queens, for a place where the food is great, the prices reasonable and the atmosphere something less than smug.