The amateurish and under-managed side of Soi Asian Bistro's service isn't as evident during the day because of the bustle of lunchtime crowds that keeps staff humming along. But on slow evenings, there is a lethargy among waiters and a curious lack of attention. Everyone was friendly enough, and service sufficed overall, but we didn't feel as though anybody cared whether we were there or not. Music was consistently too loud and clubby; the room was kept ridiculously cold. At one point, a person walked off the street and into the place, headed to our table, and hit us up for change. Nobody from the restaurant asked him to leave.
Had they bribed him to leave with a free bar beverage, street guy would likely have been disappointed with the selection: There are only two beers (Kirin and Sapporo), three red wines, and three white wines ($24 to $32; glasses $7 and $8).
The nuts — remember, the review is from soup to, well, peanuts — were sprinkled on top of a cup of condensed milk alongside cleanly fried Thai donuts (really little round donut holes). That dessert hit the spot — good thing, too, as it was the only one available. You might catch mochi ice cream or chocolate cake on other nights, if you're lucky. But even with this newcomer's quirks, downtowners are lucky to have Soi Asian Bistro sauce up the neighborhood with fresh, sunny, and affordable fare.