Here's the way to open a restaurant in the middle of a recession: Offer appetizers for 75cents to $3.50, and offer entrees for $3.50 to $12. On the same block as Mai Thai, and with the same boards and tin roof look, Mei Wei Shabu Shabu has opened on 8th Avenue and 46th Street.
If flower bouquets are any indication, they will do quite well. The one thing I'm confused about is that the menu says they are open from 5 PM to 2 AM, yet they were open at Noon just yesterday. Below is a sampling from the take-out menu.
Fried Taro Cake: .75
Tom Yam Soup: .75
Fried Fish Balls: $1.50
Fish Tofu: $1.75
Beef Tendon Balls: $1.75
Boneless Duck Feet: $3.75
Sliced Pork or Chicken: $4.00
Spare Ribs with Noodle Soup: $4.50
Crab with Chinese New Year Cake: $5.75
Clam Chow Rice Noodle: $5.75
Beef Shabu Shabu: $9.95
Clam and Shrimp Shabu Shabu: $10.95
Beef Tripe and Pig Intestine Combo: $10.95
Seafood Shabu Shabu: $11.95