Best Service in a Restaurant - 2006
Good service doesn't have to mean a ma?tre d' with an accent, waiters dressed in dinner jackets, or a sommelier with a silver cup. You don't always have to shell out the shillings to be treated well either. At SukhoThai, owner Susie and her son Eddie hand out their smiles for free, hailing new and old customers at the door with familial warmth. Eighty percent of the clientele at the 16-year-old restaurant are regular customers -- people keep coming back to see Murphy's Law confounded: For one meal, at least, nothing that can go wrong will go wrong. Drinks, appetizers, entrées, and desserts arrive on an immutable, predictable schedule. Dirty plates are unobtrusively whisked away. There's never a meal auction: Your server knows who gets the Masaman curry and the pad Thai. Water glasses seem to refill themselves. And the cheerful, modest Thai staff has perfected the art of being there without seeming to be there -- always within sight, never hovering. "We're not perfect," Eddie says. "Servers have good and bad days like anybody else. But we tell our staff, treat everybody like a VIP. You never know who you're waiting on."