since moving to astoria 5 years ago my wife and i have been regular diners at ubol's kitchen on steinway. we could always count on consistently delicious food and excellent service from a staff that knew our drink orders before we entered the door. even with the 70s karaoke, this was one of our goto spots for a relaxing and satisfying evening.
last night (after many weeks without) we returned. something was wrong from the start. all the overhead lights were on and there were many more tables than usual. speaking of tables, they were unclothed and the new illumination level really showed how empty the place was on a friday night.
a new face half greeted us and i knew that something had changed. gone was all the usual staff and half the nik naks that gave the place character. and worst of all, pad kee mao and chicken basil leaves were now served in a spicy brown gravy no better (and perhaps worse) than any other thai restaurant in the city or elsewhere.
so my question is this: has ubol's changed ownership or was it a remarkably off night?
either way, i don't think we will go back.