I had a fabulous meal last night: crispy rice with sour sausage; the sensational sheet fish soup; northern Larb; barbecued beef (#49 -- a great bargain); and a new dish, a steamed sea bass with a sweetish garlic sauce. Lotus is buying more fish on a daily business besides the usual catfish and salmon, and I look forward to trying the ahi that Bill is buying in small quantities every day.
For dessert, we had the sticky rice w/cocount "ice cream" and a lovely pumpkin-squash and taro root pudding.
We also drank the Gunderlach Nackenheim Rothernburg 2000 Riesling Spatlese, which went wonderfully with the food.
I've decided that "8" might be my favorite spice level at Lotus. Everything was quite hot but not unpleasant.
From my pov, on the basis of this one meal, Lotus has not gone uphill or downhill, but is still cruising at a very high level.