Lotus of Siam (Las Vegas, NV)
Lotus of Siam
953 E Sahara Ave
Las Vegas, NV 89104
Dining date: 3/30/11
Lotus of Siam has probably become one of the most famous Thai restaurants in the country, if not the most. Not too long ago, it was one of those hidden finds off the touristy Las Vegas Strip. Thanks to rave reviews from people across the country, as well as attention from the James Beard Foundation, the restaurant is squarely on everyone’s radar.
I’d been here once a couple of years ago and was yearning to make a return trip. We popped in here for my last meal on this mini-vacation to LV.
GARLIC BLACK PEPPER CHICKEN WINGS chicken wings deep fried until crispy then sautéed with a lot of garlic, black pepper, and seasoning
These were very crunchy and probably a bit overcooked. Surprisingly, I also found them rather bland. I’m curious if perhaps we received the wrong order, as there wasn’t really any noticeable black pepper.
STUFFED CHICKEN WINGS chicken wings stuffed with ground pork, deep fried, served with homemade sweet & sour sauce
These wings were better, stuffed with some pork. Really meaty with a nice, light crunch to them. These weren’t as moist as I thought they could’ve been though.
TOM KAH KAI (Bangkok Style) a distinctive soup of sliced chicken with coconut milk, straw mushroom galanga, lemongrass and a touch of lime juice
I’m actually not at all familiar with this soup, but it was popular on Yelp. It didn’t look like the most appetizing thing, but it was pretty good. There was a little bit of heat here, balanced by some lime juice and the coconut milk. Kind of reminiscent of a Chinese hot & sour soup. Kind of.
COMBINATION BEEF NOODLE SOUP small flat rice noodle, Thai style beef ball, beef in seasoned beef soup
My mother was craving some soup noodles, however this was a little too spicy for her. It had a lingering spice that seemed to compound. The broth had a lot of beefy depth, and I really liked the noodles here. Comforting.
SEA BASS DRUNKEN NOODLES deep fried sea bass topped with homemade fresh chili and Thai basil served on the top of pan fried flat rice noodle
Wonderful dish. The sea bass was excellent. Lightly fried, the fish was moist and flavorful with just a little bit of crispiness. The noodles were very good as well, with some heat from the chili and a nice herbal sweetness from the basil.
I don’t know a whole lot about Thai food so it’s hard for me to really draw comparisons. I found this to be a pretty good meal, with the drunken noodles and sea bass to be a big highlight.
Pretty good but not great? Everybody else raves! I appreciate your even-handedness.
Maybe my expectations were too high. Or I was suffering from some restaurant fatigue. Either way, this meal was good but not great.
I’ve been here twice (though I’ve never ordered the drunken noodle dish), and both times we left disappointed. For all the hype I’ve heard about the food, it’s nothing special IMO. I doubt I’ll give LOS a 3rd shot when I could be eating at Raku or Ichiza down the street.
I enjoyed my previous trip to Lotus of Siam, but that was a little while ago. There is a ton of hype and I’d return to try some more of the dishes…but yes, very hard to pass up Raku. I miss it. I saw Ichiza on Yelp, and ran into it after dining at Raku as it was right above Tea Station! Never been though..
If you ever go back, I’d very much recommend that you delve into their northern Thai cuisine menu. What you ordered probably doesn’t represent the strength of their offerings. My suggested dishes from said menu are the sai oua, thum kanoon, nam prik ong, and kang hung lay. If you want more, add the larb and nam prik noom. Enjoy these with a container or two of sticky rice. http://www.saipinchutima.com/menu.pdf
Thanks Mac – will keep these in mind!