Each time I go to Vegas, I try to get a reservation at Lotus of Siam, but leaving it last minute always meant I was never able to get one. It was by luck that my friends reminded me of this when I was getting ready to go to my reunion this last time. I immediately called to make a reservation and just to be safe, I made it for a 6-top in case any one else wanted to join my two friends and I.
On the first day of the reunion I had two joining and by the day of the reservation, I had others requesting if they could partake, so I called up and surprisingly, was able to add a few more seats to the mix.
It took us a while to find the restaurant as it was hidden in a very large strip mall without much signage, but once we stepped inside, it was a whole different matter — a nicely laid out restaurant with an impressive wine cellar to boot.
The group left the ordering up to me, and added a few things to the mix I’d selected. We began with Chicken Satay ($8.95) which were a little dry, but still flavorful.
The Pork Satay ($8.95) were so much better, moist, tender, and just as flavorful as the chicken satay. Both were served with a cucumber relish and peanut sauce.
I had done a little bit of research beforehand and the general consensus was to order the Stuffed Chicken Wings ($9.95), or Angel Wings as they are usually known. I’ve had these before at several other places and the one here is tasty and served with a lovely dipping sauce. I’m glad I had 9 others to share it because it is quite a filling dish to attempt to eat with two people.
Maria ordered the Spicy Chicken Wings ($8.95) and boy we were all glad she did. These wings and drummettes were spicy, sweet and sticky with some basil thrown in for good measure. Everyone loved these!
Tod Mun Plar ($8.95) or fish cakes is one of those items I always order when going for Thai and these were definitely some of the best I’ve ever had. The texture is delightful — firm yet not hard — and enough kaffir lime leaves were used to give it that fragrant aroma I so love.
Torbin, who has been here before ordered a cup of Tom Ka Gai ($3.95) and was kind enough to give me a taste. It was tart and spicy, just the way it should be! On top of that, it was served piping hot, just the way soup should be! I kinda regretted not getting a bowl myself.
I always order Thai beef salad but decided to go with the Issan version — Nua Nam Tok ($13.95) which is sprinkled with toasted rice. The dressing, together with the rice coats the beef and clings to it, creating a wondrous mouthful each time.
I’ve had Issan Sausage ($9.95) at several places before and I’ve liked it, but none have been as texturally pleasing as this one. The exterior is crispy and the interior not dry. Order some sticky rice to go with the sausage as that is how it is traditionally eaten.
Chicken Panang ($10.95) was the only disappointing item of the night. The panang sauce wasn’t quite right — it was a little too light in color which means too much coconut milk — and the chicken was very dry.
Although I don’t like flat rice noodles, I’m a fan of Drunken Noodles (Pad Kee Mau $8.95) and I can’t tell you why or how, but these blew me away. I thought I’ve had good pad kee mau before, but damn, these were SOOOOO good! There was the right amount of greasiness with the right amount of spiciness and everything just came together perfectly!
I think we were all in agreement that the Crispy Duck with Mint and Chili ($20.95) was our favorite dish. The duck was incredibly seasoned and well prepared and I guess I missed the crispy rice sitting on the bottom because everyone was raving about it. The mint and chili gave it a refreshing but spicy kick, which is what I’m always looking for when it comes to southeast Asian cuisine.
Pineapple Fried Rice ($9.95) was ordered but I didn’t have any. I don’t care for pineapple in my fried rice, or any rice for that matter unless it’s a dessert. Everyone else liked it very much so I’ll take their word for it.
At this point we looked over at a group of guys at the next table celebrating a birthday. They had received a platter of seafood so Rochelle asked them what they were having. They informed us that their menu was “omakase” style, so the chef was just basically bringing out dishes to them. I managed to snag a photo of the garlic lobster — which you should order in advance if you want it because it is not available every single day.
As stuffed as we were, there was no escaping the enticing desserts. Mango Sticky Rice ($7.95) is an all-time favorite and the mango here were so ripe and sweet they literally melted in my mouth. The sticky rice had just enough coconut milk to give it that saltiness to bring it all together. Unfortunately, this was the one and only portion they had left so the 10 of us had to find a way to amicably share it between us.
Since we only were able to have one portion of the mango, we ordered the Coconut Ice Cream and Sticky Rice ($4) as well. Surprisingly, it was absolutely delicious! I’d never had this combination before and honestly, it worked so well I don’t know why more restaurants don’t offer it.
As we rolled ourselves out the door and back onto the strip, I can truly say this is THE best Thai food I’ve ever had outside of Thailand. Yes, some of the OC restaurants have good Thai, but this? This is well worth driving to Vegas for!
Lotus of Siam
953 E Sahara Ave
Las Vegas, NV 89104