But with this Friday's opening of Shang, the new Big Chinese restaurant at the freshly minted Thompson LES hotel, you may just find yourself under the dark, sexy lights of a new player in the urban-resort shuffle.
Consider Shang the Thompson's first (but not last) offer to entice you in to their little playpen (more on the other budding playpens in a bit). It's a slate gray and orange minimalist palace—the sort of place you might find Dr. Evil holding a board meeting/dinner. Just gather up your own crew of misfits—you'll want one of the center tables with built-in lazy Susans—or if you're really hatching evil plans, find your way to the semi-private back room. There, shaded by a mildly pornographic room divider, you'll feast on Kung Pao Oysters from ponytail-and-spectacle clad Toronto import/friend of Nobu, Susur Lee.
Once you've snacked your way through the delicate family-style menu, scope out the Thompson's other soon-to-be hotspots. Take a peek at the heated Shang Terrace (your new lounge-with-a-view come January), the seventh-floor rooftop lounge/A60 complement Above Allen and on the third floor, the pool deck, primed for next summer.
Or next month, if you're not afraid of a little cold water...