Summary: The author, a Bangkok expat and self-declared
Italian restaurant review expert, offers his impressions
of L’Opera, La Buca and Pinocchio, three of
Bangkok’s best Italian restaurants.
I want to eat out in Bangkok, I go to one of my favorite
Italian restaurants. Why eat Italian food in Thailand,
a nation known for its colorful and spicy food? Well,
for one, Thai food is not all it's cracked up to be.
(But that's another story.) The primary reason, however,
is that Thailand has some of the best Italian restaurants
in the world. This is because Thailand attracts great
Italian chefs. Where do you go if you are from a warm,
festive, food and leisure oriented culture like Italy,
but you need more? You come to the Jewel of Siam,
where leisure has morphed into an art form and your
imagination can run wild.
am an Italian restaurant review expert: A hobby that
doesn't require any special training, big muscles
or much thought and concentration. It does require
some pocket money and it helps to have a partner in
crime. The following is a review of some of the great
Italian restaurants and Italian restaurant experiences
that I have known in Thailand.
No report on Thailand's restaurants could be complete
without describing L'Opera. In the pantheon of Italian
restaurant gods, L'Opera is the chief god, the Brahma
or Vishnu or whoever the god on top is. The restaurant
is situated on Sukhumvit Soi 39, and has a billboard
marquee like a real Opera. The whole place has the
same dramatic effect, down to the waitresses who wear
bow ties and vests that look like mini tuxedos. The
restaurant has a bright sunlit upper floor replete
with plenty of glass, fountains, and greenery. The
lower floor is in wine cellar style with dark wood
and recessed lighting.
The menu is extensive and there are daily rotating
specials. My favorite part of the meal is the bruschetta
sauce and breads that they serve before the meal.
This is an innovation that I have not found elsewhere.
The serving of bruschetta sauce and breads before
the meal reminded me of the tostado chips and salsa
that I used to get in Mexican restaurants, normally
for free in advance of your meal. I say normally,
because I have abused the privilege in more than one
place, gorging on bowl after bowl of free tostada
chips and salsa, bankrupting the pathetic owners,
until they realized that they would have to charge
me for the chips and salsa.
The owner of L'Opera is a portly domineering figure
with a flair for dressing in outrageous and trendy
fashions. He marches around surveying his restaurant,
like a general inspecting his troops. I have never
had the opportunity to talk to the gentleman but I
am sure he knows me as the guy with the gym bag and
all the books; who eats too much free bruschetta.
He looks like a demanding perfectionist and his restaurant
shows it. I would recommend anything on the menu except
the soup. Stay away from the soup. My favorite is
the seafood spaghetti and the salads.