So, what about Thailand's malls. They are almost contained cities. Central Mall, which has several locations, can be as high as 7 to 10 stories. There are grocery stores usually located at the ground level. There are high end retail outlets on par with The Grove in Los Angeles. There is a mall for everyone, even specific regional locations that are usually only visited by local Thais. McDonalds is in Thailand, but their menu is a little different. They do have the Big Mac, but they also have a pork burger, a version of jok (rice gruel), and other unique items not found in the USA. Ronald McDonald also is displayed with a Thai wai.
Bangkok malls are enclosed self contained entities. Where you are located often dictates how you live. People go to malls in Bangkok not only for the retail options, but also for the air conditioning. It's cooler to be in the mall--in a literal sense. This is one observation. The other observation is food. Food has a central role in Thai life. They don't say how are you in Thailand. They ask if you have eaten. Food is more high end in the Bangkok malls. You have a range of a version of indoor street food types of food courts, and then you got this growing trend of Japanese restaurants, many of them frequented by Thais not Japanese. The Nine Mall next to my apartment seems to be heavily dominated by these Japanese restaurants. Unfortunately, it isn't enclosed, and so it doesn't seem to be as popular as enclosed air conditioned malls like Central. There is a ramen joint here, a Japanese bakery, a tonkatsu place, izakaya, and a Japanese curry place as well. There is also a 60 baht per item Japanese place for kitchen and home items. Everything in the store is basically 2.00 USD. Not a dollar place, but close enough. The Nine is basically a mall for food venues. The first two floors are dominated by food venues. No Gap. No Hot Dog on a Stick.
Next door to this place is an izakaya. They do sushi. I got bored, and walked to the mall for sushi. How convenient is that? So what do you get in an izakaya in Bangkok. This is what you get.
There also seems to be a preponderance of shabu shabu buffets in Bangkok. At the Central Mall located near my location, there is a Mo Mo Paradise place that serves it using a tsuyu broth, instead of a clear broth. You dip the shabu shabu in a beaten egg.
So, this is mall food in Bangkok. No wonder people hang out at the malls here.