Tuesday, August 9, 2011

NEXT - Tour of Thailand

Getting tickets to Next was more challenging than Lollapalooza this year. The server crashed on the day they expected to sell them and then on the following day it took hours to get the system up and running. Luckily Jed and I teamed up to make sure we got a table on the night we wanted (Thursday before Lolla). I don't want to ruin the suspense or surprise of Next - that is their greatest asset. What makes the model work so well is that you have no idea what to expect and no experience can compare to Next. It's fun and different and I loved most of the dishes (particularly the beef cheek in spicy coconut broth, fish dish and coconut dessert), but I left wanting and expecting more.

The price is a bit overwhelming for the meal and we even went late on a Thursday, though the best part is not having a check to pay at the end of meal (just like all inclusive Mexico! :). As I've read in other places, our service was hit and miss and you didn't really know who was supposed to be taking care of you. The restaurant operates as a team but that also makes it feel a bit impersonal. Some servers are more friendly and knowledgeable and others are more interested in dropping off the food/drink or are not quite as comfortable explaining the dish. I suspect the entire operation will only get better with time as people get more comfortable with each concept and operating so differently than any other restaurant. To borrow a line from Penny Pollack, "In the end, I would go back—out of curiosity. It’s a big world, and I’m fascinated to see how Next evolves."

I suspect curiosity will be enough to keep Next running at full capacity month after month. It's certainly something different and fun with some very good dishes but the pricing and complicated reservation system will make me very selective on which menus to try. This was just step one in an evolution of a new way to experience food.

My pictures are below - look if you don't mind spoiling the surprise.

Next on Urbanspoon


  1. Did you enjoy your time at Next? I went a few weeks ago and had a blast with the Tour of Thailand dinner. I have my review here: www.callmeamaesing.com

    The beef cheeks were my favorite!

  2. Is NEXT just located in downtown Bangkok? I'm planning to visit Thailand this summer for a vacation with my friends. What are their specialty foods?



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