Luna vs BTS
Review of Luna Lounge and Better Than Sex
Those who wander away from Thong Nai Pan Noi Beach and make it over the bridge in the village are confronted with a choice of two imposing restaurants. On the left is the round and thatched Luna Lounge and on the right is the steel and glass Better Than Sex. No doubt many people enjoy patronizing both places; however, many people have a strong preference for one place over the other.
This might be partly to do with the ambience of the two businesses. Luna Lounge was built by a Thai-English couple clearly going for the flashpacker cocktail circuit. The emphasis was on stylish surroundings, sofas, well made drinks and fusion dishes. The food was never brilliant but the networking was – the restaurant suited a certain type of clientele who wanted something a bit more ‘sophisticated’ than a cheap bowl of noodles and a cold beer.
The original owner had a wide group of friends and marshaled them well to make positive comments on Trip Advisor. Luna Lounge is currently the 4th best restaurant according to the deeply flawed review site. The position is skewered by the fact that the restaurant was taken over in 2013. The menu and staff was completely changed. What remained was the slightly pretentious angle to the restaurant, made more so with an emphasis on the wide wine menu with notes available on a tablet device.
The new owners have improved the menu that now includes such dishes as prawns in cognac and cream sauce, Phi Phi chicken, orange and ginger chicken and Thai coconut, duck and pineapple curry (gaeng ped ped yang). The prices are between 200 and 400 Thai Baht – more expensive than places like Again and Again but cheaper than the hotels such as Rasananda.
Better Than Sex came into being in 2011. The imposing structure of steel and glass with wooden decking outside was completed in 2008. For a while it was ‘Pong’s Republic’ – a loud and unpopular nightclub. In 2011 Pong’s restaurant and Flip Flop were forced to move from their prime position on the beach. Flip Flop landed in Yai and Pong moved into his nightclub.
The choice of name for the restaurant is somewhat surprising, but funnily enough works. The large menu is peppered with salacious quotes on the subject. It gives you something to chat about.
As with Luna the interior design, music and feel of BTS is geared towards those looking for something more stylish than the typical basic Thai food spot. However, the ambience is different. For a start BTS has more seating. Secondly, Pong keeps himself in the background whereas Federic and his wife like to work the crowd at Luna.
The food on offer at Better Than Sex is extensive: Thai, Burmese and Italian. They have a pizza oven and do better at the dish than Luna. Pong has been cooking for years and knows how to turn a Thai or Burmese dish into something eye catching as well as tasty. If you can wade through the menu at BTS you can find some really good food in the same price range as Luna.
It is thus somewhat surprising that Better Than Sex only makes 44th on the Trip Advisor list. The fact that the owner does not feel the need to justify himself when there is a negative review on TA is a refreshing snub to a site that Google irritatingly foists upon us in its search results. The rank of the restaurant is plainly wrong.
To sum up for you, both Luna Lounge and Better Than Sex are for those who fancy trying something a bit different and who aren’t confined to a budget. They both offer attractive surroundings and well presented food. However, they have quite different atmospheres. It is really a matter of personal preference as to which (if any) you prefer.
Better Than Sex
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