Lotus of Siam New York Begins to Implode

The New York Times reports that the family associated with the Lotus of Siam name, which built their reputation at their Las Vegas outpost, have split from the new New York outpost.

I’m only sharing this news because of my recent posts about both their Las Vegas and New York locations.

The New York Lotus of Siam is a major disappointment and this piece offers some clues, perhaps, as to why.

had disagreements with their partner, Roy Welland, who had owned the upscale restaurant Cru in the space where Lotus of Siam is located. She said her parents wanted the restaurant to be more homey and affordable than Mr. Welland did.

But, she added, Lotus of Siam would remain open and that “nothing will change there.”

…”Our reputation is at stake; as a result, we are terminating this relationship in order to protect our morals and values; also, to protect the image of my parents, who have worked their hardest for the past 25 years.”

The upscale version of Lotus of Siam, neutered for the New York expectation of Thai, just didn’t work and wasn’t at all consistent with the brand. The restaurant tries to do mid-market finer dining, using Thai-ish food, and will continue to do so until everyone realizes that it doesn’t fulfill its promise either as Thai food or as upscale dining. The family has already left, leaving behind only the name.

I had a thoroughly unimpressive lunch at the Vegas location a couple of weeks ago, but my guess is that lunch is the wrong time to go, they’re very mass-market buffet focused at lunch and I think ordering off the menu gets short-shrift. Dinner there a few years ago was much better. Hopefully the return strictly to Vegas will allow sufficient focus to ensure that the restaurant survives there and continues to offer the excellent meals I’ve had in the past.

(HT: Samir)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. This was posted to food and wine BB’s last week. It’s funny because travel folks are usually johnny-on-the-spot with news!

  2. @Dan it was shared with me earlier just didn’t get around to posting it until my wife brought it up again this morning.

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