It's new, just be patient and tolerant

Thai Fusion has closed. E-San Thai is now open in same location.
By Salem Man
A new Thai restaurant has opened next door to the BigFOOT Bar and Grill on South Commercial St. It's called TF or Thai Fusion and I've been getting a lot of querys about it online and in person. That's understandable since it's such a high profile location with a fifteen foot wood primate* statue in the parking lot. My personal policy about reviewing brand new restaurants, is that the first couple of months is a terrible time to formulate an opinion about a place because the bugs have to be worked out. OK, "bugs" is a terrible choice of word to use when talking about food. How about "kinks." I've gotten at least one opinion from a friend that I will share here just to give you an idea what to expect when you go in. My friend, who is an avid Thai food consumer, said that the red curry at Thai Fusion was better then Thai Beer. I don't know if that's enough to steal this customer away from Thai Beer entirely. We'll have to see.

I never did get around to writing anything about BigFOOT's former neighbor, Monaghan's II. It seemed like it was the same exact menu as BigFOOT's but was more of a bar atmosphere. One time we dined at BF and I noticed they had some kind of a Texas Hold Em poker tournament going on inside Monaghan's.

It is interesting to follow what's happening on this property since it was once a single restaurant called Grand China. For a brief moment, it was a Charley's Sub while we waited for BF to open it's doors. And remember how long it took BF to open? That was the most anticipated restaurant opening in this town at the time. A lot has changed since those days.

If you have info about this place that you want to share, do it here, but this is not an official Thai Fusion review. Let's give it a few months, then we can go in there and get the real deal.

*It is not known for sure that Sasquatch is a primate, I'm just guessing. Although, I did minor in anthropology in college. If you're using this information as a source for a thesis or term paper that would not be a good idea. This is a blog, it's not a credible source for information about scientific facts.


KandN said...

I was surprised at how quick it seemed to happen. Either that or I haven't been paying any attention!

Anonymous said...

We ordered take out at this new place: a vegetarian/tofu noodles dish (Pad Kee Maow) and a vegetarian/tofu dish with mangos and rice. Both were quite tasty, and if they keep it up, they will be a rival of the other established, good Thai restaurants in town (Beer, Lotus). We will defintely be going back.

I prefer Thai Lotus over Thai Beer and some dishes at the Red Ginger are stellar while others (standards) are okay. At least with the two dishes we ordered, this new place competes with these restaurants.

As far as takeout, Beer certainly has the larger portions. Ginger is the nicest inside. Ginger is quite elegant inside and the new manager is great. I like having lunch and dinner there. I hope they're not struggling anymore.

lavachickie said...

That's a very compassionate plea, Salem Man.

Many aren't so kind. Unfortunately, a restaurants opening months are vital. They will fly or flop based on their early showings. People will flock to them because they are new, and if they blow it, many of those people won't bother to try again.

I've been to too many new places that seem to have just throught, "Hey, it would be fun to open a restaurant!" and two nights later they are serving customers. I hope the principles have restaurant experience, and took the time to train and test out their systems before officially opening the doors.

I hope they fly. The more Thai the better.

mama2dylan said...

I totally agree w/ your comment lavachickie. Many of the chain restaurants do extensive training w/ their new hires including what's on the menu and what's in a dish. The chains I've worked for gave the employees a written test on ingredients and new hires always had to shadow a more experienced server in the dinning room for at least a week. Chain or not I think this is good practice for any restaurant.

Just last Monday I had lunch w/ my family at a locally owned restaurant. We mentioned that we liked the onion rings dipped in beer batter. She knew a good amount about preparation and what type of beer but couldn't elaborate further because according to her, "she doesn't drink that beer so she doesn't know anything about it". At another restaurant recently we asked what the difference between a Long Island iced tea and a “Nuclear” Long Island tea was. The server said, "I don't know, I'm only 19 and I don't drink". Granted, but know the product you’re selling, I don't care if you don't drink, I do and I’m paying for it. :)

Amber said...

I understand that the owners of this new restaurant use to own Red Ginger. I am excited to give it a try!

Anonymous said...

I really miss Grand China. It was my favorite asian place in town. Since this is in our neighborhood and we love Thai, I'm hoping that the new place will be a winner! (But it's not that far to head over to Thai Beer in W Salem).

Maryann & Randy said...

A miserable experience.
We were so excited about trying a new Thai restaurant, but after first being seatted on the Big Foot side when there seemed to be plenty of space on the restaurant side, after the waitress couldn't remember our order and had to ask again, and sitting there for the better part of an hour, our food arrived COLD. It might have been the best Thai food ever, but the poor service killed it.
It's been hot, we've had a rough work week so far, and now a bad dining experience. The comments before about the first few weeks are the most important - are right. We won't be going back and we will sure to discourage our friends from going either.