Neon. Clashing bold prints. A fondness for tropical fruits and emojis. A claim to be really excited about "spicy food!" that's actually kind of bland.
No, it's not a teenager at a music festival. Welcome to The Lucky Bee.
The Lucky Bee is fun - it's bright, it's colorful, it's on the Lower East Side. There are fun cocktails, "cute" menus, and a pink lighting situation that will probably make you look very cool on your social media platform of choice. Depending on your demographic and aesthetic preferences, this might sound awesome, or like a completely overdone fever dream nightmare. We can't tell you how to feel about neon signs and palm tree wallpaper.
We can, however, tell you that we don't think the food here is all that amazing. The menu is a modern take on Thai street food, and while none of it's bad, nothing we've tried has been quite delicious or innovative enough to get excited about. It's especially hard to get excited about $14 dumplings, when tastier ones can be had a few blocks away on Eldridge Street for about $2 a plate.
If the idea of eating and drinking in the restaurant version of a highly curated Instagram feed sounds like fun, and you're willing to pay around $30 an entree for the pleasure of doing so, you might have a fun night at The Lucky Bee. If you're after seriously authentic, spicy, or interesting Southeast Asian food, you're better off elsewhere.
Recommended to us on multiple visits, these dumplings are pretty standard, and we did enjoy the vinegar sauce. But worth $14 a plate? Not really.
Your requisite pork buns - we found the meat to be a little dry, and the sauce a little sweet. Skippable.
We've tried several of the curries - from a khao soy noodle version, to a massaman, to a coconut-chicken, and in general, we've liked the first few bites, but they haven't had the spice or complexity to keep us going. At close to $30 a bowl for most of them, that's hard to justify.