yesterday was the second time i went to bo's; wow, what an unbelievable find, thank you jeff. the sad thing was that the restaurant was completely empty. completely empty! my friend and i were the only two customers there throughout our dinner, and we got there at 8.00 and stayed till 9.30.
so we chatted awhile with saint maria cho, the chef owner, and she said she got so few customers at the begining of the week that she was thinking of remaining open sundays and taking tuesdays off instead. sadly, she's also exploring the option of setting up shop in manhattan because of the low traffic volume and the fact that 'at least 70% of my regulars are from manhattan anyway'.
if thats what she has to do, thats what she has to do. but i wonder if the quality will remain: wherever she sets up in manhattan is almost bound to be more expensive then where she is right now, and so she'll have to increase traffic and so she'll have to hire an assistant to help cook and so the quality will start to diminish and so eventually her soul will be spread so thin that it is no more bo. that would be unfortunate.
history backs me up in this glum prediction, for i can't recall ONE manhattan version of a queen's restaurant that mantained quality - eg jaya thai, penang, jackson diner etc. you cut corners to meet the rent, price yourself to the competition, compromise on the ingredients because they aren't readily available and who cares because 90% of the clientele can't tell the difference anyway and you're in business.
there is another solution, though, as jim always urges: go there to eat regularly. do your bit. NOW!
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