Thursday, February 24, 2011

Lotus of Siam (Las Vegas, NV)

Lotus of Siam has been touted as the best Thai restaurant in America, thanks to Jonathan Gold's review in Gourmet Magazine, although some blog reviews say that it does not live up to the hype. By chance, Gastronomy Blog reviewed the restaurant right before my trip to Vegas with friends, and it sounded so good that we decided to go there for dinner and see for myself.

The restaurant looked small and sketchy from the outside but was actually big. We did have to wait half an hour for a table even though there were about half a dozen empty tables. Well, once we got seated things moved along smoothly.

Lotus of Siam has an extensive menu with some pretty unusual specialties and hard-to-find Northern Thai dishes, so we had a hard time choosing even with the six of us. With popular vote, we first settled with the Nam Kao Tod ($7.95)
Crispy rice mixed with minced sour sausage, green onion, fresh chili, ginger, peanuts, and lime juice

Nam Kao Tod

A nice mix of flavors and textures makes it a great light appetizer. Crispy and crunchy, tangy and spicy.

Tom Kah Kai ($13.95)
chicken, coconut milk, galangal, lemongrass, lime juice
Tom Kah Kai

I like tom kah kai better than tom yum because of the richness that coconut milk adds.

Yum Nuah (Thai Beef Salad - $10.95)
charbroiled steak, onion, tomato, fresh chili, lime juice, on a bed of greens
Beef Salad
Interestingly, this beef "salad" was the spiciest dish we had (it wasn't that spicy thought).
Luckily I had some Thai iced coffee to cool my tongue down.
Thai Iced Coffee

Pad Thai with beef ($8.95)
Pad Thai

While I don't normally order pad thai and tend to want to try more interesting dishes, I am so glad my friend ordered it. This might very well be the best pad thai around. The thin noodles had a nice texture and it wasn't overly sweet as it can sometimes be. And really, beef wins over chicken any day.

The last dish sounded amazing from Gastronomy Blog's description and we had to order it:
Crispy Duck on Drunken Noodle ($20.95)
topped with homemade fresh chili, basil. Served on top of pan fried flat noodles
Crispy duck on drunken noodles

This was indeed a great dish! The duck was both fatty and crispy, and was complemented well by the moist noodles. Between the two, your mouth will be filled with juices. The crisped basil on top added nice a layer of texture and aroma. I would definitely order this again and you need to as well.

Is it the best Thai restaurant in North America? I can't say, but it is certainly a great Thai restaurant and way better than the average.

Lotus of Siam
953 E Sahara Ave
Las Vegas, NV 89104
(702) 735-3033
Lotus of Siam on Urbanspoon


Charlie Fu

I think the real appeal of this restaurant is their extensive riesling list. Not too many Thai restaurants have a wine list that matches so perfectly (and reasonably priced) with the cuisine.

I agree with your assessment, is it the best? *shrug* but it's very good!

I have friends who travel to las vegas to eat there which to me is mind boggling!


Crispy duck on drunken noodles, OMG OMG OMG! So glad you liked it, Fiona :-)


oh awesome! I'll be sure to get the duck when I check it out next March


I'm going there for lunch for punk rock bowling festival during May!

so excited!


I've never had pad thai with beef before! I bet it really perks it up! Really dying to try that duck dish! Might have to plan a Vegas trip just to satisfy my stomach. ;)


it was so good! can't wait to go back :)

Kung Food Panda

I'm wondering if my friends and I went on two bad days. Both time, we left unimpressed and hungry. Thus, we always made a 2nd stop to Ichiza...

Gourmet Pigs   © 2008. Template Recipes by Emporium Digital