Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Lotus of Siam - Las Vegas -The Best Thai in America?

Lotus of Siam Commercial Center, 953 E. Sahara Ave (Maryland Pkwy) Las Vegas, NV 89104 702-735-3033

Visited November 2004

Lotus of Siam is the restaurant Jonathan Gold of Gourmet magazine called the best Thai restaurant in North America. I hope it's not. What's all the fuss about? From our experience it just wasn't that great. I haven't eaten a massive amount of Thai food Stateside, but I've regularly tasted as good or even better in London. Maybe this stuff is more authentic and I am ignorant? Maybe we ordered the wrong things? I don't know, but after rave reviews I'd heard on Chowhound's Southwest Boards. I was expecting it to blow me away. I could take it or leave the Lotus of Siam. I'd Probably leave it next time.

nam kao tod The crispy rice salad with sour sausage. The pleasant sausage looks and tastes something like a pickled ham. The dish was offered on a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of spiciness. We chose 4. I've got to wonder about the people who choose 10. Do they live to tell the tale? Crispy rice was a little on the chewy side. Maybe it wasn't at its freshest.

A rare beef salad with Thai aubergine. I've only had this kind of eggplant cooked before. Raw it's just a bit crunchy, healthy and boring. It over dominated the dish. The meat was tender, but just a little too much on the fatty side to enjoy as a cold dish.

A fairly plain pork dish, chosen by the unadventurous Fred. Slightly overcooked meat. It didn't convert him to Thai food.

A Duck and pineapple curry. Fairly sweet, tasty, grapes almost the size of kumquats. Pleasant. Certainly not life changing.

Rice include with each main dish.

This restaurant is cheap. Dinner for two including wine and tip was only just over $50. You might need to figure a taxi ride into the calculation. For us, a journey to and from The Palms was about $15 each way.

Lotus of Siam - Las Vegas -The Best Thai in America?


  • At 8/12/04 20:55, Blogger Delphine said…

    huhu...It's funny usualy I read your posts and I'm hungry. Not this time, isn't it surprising? :)

  • At 10/12/04 16:57, Blogger Owen said…

    Wow! Just pick any well-regarded SF Thai place and it should be able to do better than that!

    I got given a Thai cooking class for my birthday just over a year ago - really worthwhile - food I couldn't cook before - and a lot of fun. It was through HomeChef - there's one in SF in the Laurel Village shopping center off California way out West. The one I went to was in Walnut Creek now I live in the East Bay.

  • At 10/12/04 17:10, Blogger Sam said…

    I had no idea you are in the East Bay!
    I have you in the wrong spot on my blog roll.
    I'll try and move you to the "Bay Area" section this weekend :)
    Unfortunately Fred doesn't care for Thai though I like it so I am not sure about me taking cooking classes. I think French cooking courses would serve me better.
    Do you have a fave SF Thai restaurant?

  • At 13/12/04 20:44, Blogger Sam said…

    Dear Kem44
    I am getting so jealous now that I am hearing of so many other San Franciscan's have had such great meals at LOS when mine was so diappointing. Really it was, the sausage thing was OK but the crispy rice wasn't really crispy. It tasted a bit stale and chewy.
    Maybe I had built it up so much in my head by reading so many good things about it, that made it more of a let down. I certainly wouldn't make the trip to LV just for LOS, that's for sure (maybe I would for Bobby Flay's burger though?!)
    If anyone out there knows of a great Thai place in SF, please let all us San Franciscans know, especially if it is more authentic and less Amercanized. From what I can gander, there are a lot of people who would be overjoyed to find a great Thai place in the Bay area.

  • At 25/10/06 21:18, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Maybe you just didn't choose the right dishes??? Every one I and my friend raised in Bangkok have eaten was amazing! I've eaten there on multiple occasions. This is one of my must-visit's on any trip to Vegas. And in case you're wondering, I'm very well travelled and very well versed in cuisine. I highly recommend this restaurant!!!

  • At 25/10/06 22:24, Blogger Sam said…

    anon- i totally do believe you and i also believe you are probably right - we had the wrong dishes. It is a shame the restaurant has such a large menu so that customers make the mistake of choosing the wrong thing. I wonder why they don't just put the great stuff on their menu to help guide inexperienced people like me towards their stellar dishes.

  • At 10/11/06 09:44, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I've been there, it was really good. I've lived in SF all my life and for the money I can't think of anyplace that's better. but the best thai food in america is most defintely in jackson heights in queens (but I'm not saying where). and I think the photos are a bit funny--what do I care about presentation? it's in a strip mall in Las Vegas--food is about taste. perhaps if you weren't taking pioctures of your meal you may have taken the time to enjoy it...heheh

  • At 10/11/06 09:46, Blogger Sam said…

    good point anon - i rarely take pictures anymore.

    only if i am on vacation.

  • At 8/12/06 06:16, Blogger Anita (Married... with dinner) said…

    I saw this post in your archive link and had to read it. I had almost the exact same reaction after eating at Lotus with my mom a few weeks ago.

    Last week, we went back there with two of her friends who happen to be Thai. We let them do the ordering, and -- even though most dishes were no more than "medium" heat level, in deference to Mom -- the flavors were head and shoulders better.

    Perhaps is was a case of diminished expectations? Or of having a broader selection? Or maybe our server told the kitchen "pssst! this one is for THAI PEOPLE. Make it GOOD!" Both of my mom's freiends said it was the best the food they'd had in ages, definitely the equal of any in Vegas.

    I have a draft entry sitting in my Dashboard... maybe I'll finish it today. :)

  • At 12/2/07 09:15, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    See the thing with you guys is that, you guys suck at ordering things. Literally, who ever said to order things other people tell you to. -.- Funny thing, have your own sense of style and have the balls to ask for the chef's specialty. :) Cause you're missing out on a lot of things, haha, and you're just the odd bunches of oats that I've ever seen complain about them, every one on my blog and my post seems to be happy with them. :)

  • At 12/2/07 09:16, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    P.S. Anita, i believe they treat all their customers the same, I'm white and I have no problem getting the same meal as everyone else does. So think before you let out a racist remark like that.

  • At 8/5/07 07:54, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It looks like healthy food.


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