Friday, February 21, 2014

Lotus of Siam - Las Vegas, NV

Located in a desolate strip mall, the Lotus of Siam is truly a hidden gem worth exploring if you're in search of some of the best Thai food in Las Vegas.    

Red Snapper with Panang - Lotus of Siam - Las Vegas, NV | Taste As You Go
Red Snapper with Panang - Lotus of Siam - Las Vegas, NV

Sometimes, having the reputation of a "foodie" can be stressful, especially when dining out with friends who are waiting for you to introduce them to the best culinary experience of their lives. That reputation can be really hard to live up to. That's why I welcome any opportunity to dine with someone who's a bigger foodie than I am. It takes the pressure off. ;-)

Pork Larb - Lotus of Siam - Las Vegas, NV | Taste As You Go
Pork Larb - Lotus of Siam - Las Vegas, NV

Letting another foodie (in this case, our friend Rob) take the lead in terms of making dinner plans while we were all in Las Vegas last fall is how our ragtag group wound up piling into three separate cabs to embark on a quest for a memorable meal of authentic Thai food at Lotus of Siam. As our cab pulled into the restaurant's dark and relatively desolate parking lot, our driver didn't seem to want to slow down long enough to let us out. I was more than grateful to be with a bunch of other people... Had I pulled up to the restaurant by myself, I probably would have been too intimidated to get out of the car!

Despite having a reservation, we had to wait a little while for them to prepare our table. No big deal... that meant we could all make a beeline for the bar and start to unwind before dinner. Once we were all seated and had a chance to read through the really extensive menu, we set about ordering as much food as possible to take advantage of the situation.

To start, I ordered the Pork Larb ($8.95). Ground pork is cooked with chopped onion, green chilies, and lime juice and served with a wedge of fresh cabbage. You can eat the pork mixture with a fork or pile it until the cabbage leaves as you would a lettuce wrap. I loved the spiciness of the pork and that the kitchen didn't hold back on the heat when I asked for something on the "medium" level of spice. The Pork Larb was so delicious, I had to protect the plate from Stephen's attempts at sneak-attacks. If I let my guard down, then he would have definitely eaten more than half of it. ;-)

Braised Short Rib with Panang - Lotus of Siam - Las Vegas, NV | Taste As You Go
Braised Short Rib with Panang - Lotus of Siam - Las Vegas, NV

Aside from individual starters, the plan was to order a bunch of dishes and pass them around the table, family-style, so we could try as many dishes as possible. I chose to add the Braised Short Rib with Panang ($20.95) to the mix... and I'm so glad I did.

The beef short ribs were supremely tender, needing only the slightest touch of a fork to cause the meat to fall apart, and served with a red curry sauce finished with a bit of cream and cognac. The dish went over really well with the rest of the group, and I think we all would have benefited from multiple orders of it. After all the meat had been eaten, I swapped my fork for a spoon and started sipping the curry sauce as if it were soup. I didn't want to leave a single drop behind!

If you're planning a trip to Las Vegas and are willing to do a little exploring off the Strip, then I highly recommend making a reservation at Lotus of Siam. And, if at all possible, go with friends or get ready to make new friends at the restaurant. You're going to want a crowd to help you taste your way through the menu!

Lotus of Siam
953 East Sahara Avenue
Suite A5
Las Vegas, NV 89104
(702) 735-3033 | Online Reservations | Map

Lotus of Siam on Urbanspoon

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