I am not an easy customer to impress. Let’s forget impress. Let’s use please. Although I am not the customer from hell, I find things that other customers probably overlook. I can’t help it I am always hunting for dirty corners, soiled windows, wrinkled uniforms, stale bread, sour sauces, overcooked vegetables, undercooked meat, and dirty fingernails. Face touchers, hair twirlers, arm scratchers and towel droppers are prime prey.
Watching waiters as they insert fingers into dirty glasses – clearing a table with a groping five finger grab makes me ballistic. Moments later explosive tendencies are obvious as the same dry handed waiter – except for his fingers – has my entrée in his germ dripping palms. Placing the plate in front of me while asking “Is there anything else I can bring you?” makes me nuclear. Fortunately Kranston defuses the situation with the words, “they are probably short staff tonight.” So?
I wasn’t an easy owner to work for – David Wetzel, Scott Davis, Michael Persian, Sharon Becknell, Scott Maanum, John Anderson, and Brad Colvin, I am sure, would all attest to that. And, as a restaurant writer I tend to look for the smallest blemish in an operation – the ones that appear easy to fix for a perfectionist- and point those out to those dining with me.
Again, I seldom find continual perfection in many of the restaurants I regularly frequent. I have my favorite eateries in a variety of corners of the country and once I find fondness in a property, an owner, a menu, staff or style, it becomes part of my life. Until of course something occurs that sends it into the not-so-fond column. Once there, I will spend months straying from its lure, looking for a replacement.
It was mere happenstance two years ago that I came upon Sea Thai Bistro in
I was excited when I heard owner Tony Qunpamornchai was opening in
So is not the case with Sea
Just when you think a man has hit his culinary Everest – the moment when he has accomplished so much in such a short period that he must be ready for a break we are suddenly surprised – again. That will comprise a Sea Thai trilogy – three locations in a close proximity all catering to a different customer base with the same style and taste level. A perfect combination for a restaurant owner to model an expansion and growth plan after.
But more importantly than the locations, Tony has a knack for keeping everything fresh and stylishly flowing. His sauces, his ingredients and his combinations along with presentation make Tony, his staff and his restaurants great model for anyone looking to begin an operation and grow it with a strong following and foundation. It’s only a matter of time before someone realizes his potential behind the stove, his personality with the public and his persona will be in front of a camera before we know.