Oh, Shang (Thompson LES). I would’ve linked, but your website is down. Your food, so delicious. Your service, so atrocious. I waited 20 minutes for a table in a half-empty restaurant, only to be called forward, then asked to wait 15 more minutes while they prepped a table. It was Valentine’s day (’11), I had the special, a delightful steak garnished with peppers that made my eyes water (in a good way). It was a great deal, $25 for a prix fixe that included a little bubbly, a nice dessert. But then a tragic soft-indie-rock band started soundchecking in the middle of dinner… Not too romantic.
In a later visit, I watched as horrified dinner patrons scurried away (some abandoning tables) from blasting urban club music while a D/E-list hip hop producer, hangers-on and a gaggle of chickenheads drank free liquor (some “healthy” infused tequila shit that tasted like cough syrup) to the dismay of the tragically overstaffed bartenders (all 2 of them). The sushi chefs had actually taken seats on the balcony because no one was actually ordering food. I wept a single tear for the establishment. Because the decor and the food really had the potential to be quite sexy. However, this restaurant’s demise is proof positive that it really takes more than just that. It’s ambiance, vibe, warmth, hospitality, people, attitudes that make the place.
I hope the chef lands someplace great, it’ll be worth a visit in calmer pastures.