Big Chinese on the LES

For some time, a few cocktail-happy boarding houses have had a pretty strong hold on the hotel scene in this town. And you've been happy to partake in their generous hospitality.
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...


187 Orchard St
(between Houston and Stanton)
Lower East Side
New York, NY, 10002

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