Last night the folks behind a troubled little psychedelic Thai restaurant called Kurve hosted a preview party to celebrate the launch of their full menu. Careful students of the EVill dining scene will remember the place, already delayed, opened once in July, closed, and opened again but only with a quarter of the items (Chef and owner Andy Yang says he just needed more time to train his chefs). Now, starting tonight, the full, and lengthy menu, will be available to the public. Our thoughts on the preview and a few tidbits from Yang—a new Rhong-Tiam delivery set up, a new Vegas spot— all ahead.
The Cocktails: We start with the cocktails because, frankly, they were a major highlight. Consultant Sasha Petraske executed his assignment well, creating a long list of $13 cocktails with fresh juices, some Thai influences (a spiked Thai Ice Tea, heavy use of coconut and spices), and his signature metal straws.
The Food: The good news is the food was all excellent. It's impossible to judge value in a media preview setting, but there were no misfires at all in terms of flavors. And the desserts were surprise hits.
Strangely this is how Andy Yang was selling the menu last night: the majority of the dishes are low carb, low sodium, apparently making it an ideal place for a late night meal (you won't feel bloated, he says). Not the typical pitch, but nothing surprises us anymore. Furthermore, Yang say the menu is completely different than at his acclaimed Rhong-Tiam. It will be more sophisticated, more subtle, and by nature of the superior ingredients, more expensive.
Execution: This is where everything completely falls apart. Considering that the event was a preview, it's surprising that the courses were so delayed, the timing so off. After nearly four hours in the neon room, we had to cut our meal short and get going—the others at our table left even earlier. Perhaps when Yang is totally focused on the kitchen, he can get the whole operation back on the rails.
The Rest: We already knew what it looked like this. We didn't know, but strongly suspected, that the
soundtrack live DJ stationed by the bathrooms would play a cheesy club mix (with the exception of some brief Brazilian bossa nova and Django interludes), and that the servers would be outfitted in fedoras, suspenders, and ties (think Justin Timerlake's Justified tour).
Curious News from Yang: In two weeks, a large part of the kitchen downstairs will be dedicated solely to making takeout orders for Rhong-Tiam, which will be delivered (at nighttime only, and in a pink car) all the way up to 96th Street. Yang is planning to open new restaurants in both Vegas and Thailand in the coming year.
· Kurve's Dinner Menu [Courtesy of Kurve]
· All Kurve Coverage [~E~]