Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Vegas Exports Cuisine...To New York?!?

A couple of years ago, I met up with a guy I dated for about six minutes in college while visiting NYC. He had married a New York chef and become a real foodie and boy did it show. Not (only) in his girth, but in his snobbery. He mercilessly mocked the notion of fine cuisine in Las Vegas, unimpressed even as I ticked off several James Beard winners and other notables -- Rick Moonen, Alex Stratta, Paul Bartalotta, Julian Serrano among them -- doing wonderful things here. And I noted that Joel Robuchon and Guy Savoy landed on the Strip first, not on Manhattan.

So I was particularly thrilled to just forward him this New York Times piece that I missed from yesterday but that John Curtas just Tweeted about the famed off-Strip Thai pot Lotus of Siam opening shop in the West Village ... on FIFTH AVENUE! Pow! Zap! Bam!

I'm not sure this has ever happened before, a Vegas original landing in The City or, for that matter, any other culinary capital. I'm actually not even that fond of Lotus -- I've left with a stomach ache almost every time I've visited -- but Gourmet Magazine scribe Jonathan Gold once called it the best Thai restaurant in North America, so what do I know? And I can be proud even as I'm not a fan, right? Like how I feel about The Killers?

I'm curious, though, why the Lotus folks haven't made the move to The Strip, too. My instinct is that the typical Strip resort owner doesn't believe the public wants something that authentic. That's why we end up with such bland Mexican (Diego) and Chinese (Fin) offerings, because they dumb it down.


Anonymous said...

I'll bet they don't have 64oz beers shaped like a football in NYC either!