This is the sixth post in the series titled An Exploration of Asian Food in Vegas. Other posts in this series include Red Rock Casino and Resort, Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar and Grill, Exploring Downtown Las Vegas, and Mr. Chow.
I've been to Lotus of Siam many, many times. We almost always make a point of visiting it when we are in Las Vegas, especially if we are seeing our friend who has a car (yes, it's off-Strip). I love many of their Thai dishes (especially anything with their phenomenal sour sausage) and Bryan loves their excellent wine collection and very reasonable wine prices.
Even though I've been here many times, no exploration of Asian Food in Vegas can be complete without the nationally famous Lotus of Siam. Therefore, I am highlighting some new favorites I discovered this time at Lotus of Siam, plus other excellent dishes we tried this time around.
I was definitely intrigued by the Nam Kao Tod, and appetizer that consists of crispy rice mixed with their sour minced pork sausage (which I love), scallions, cilantro, red onions, fresh chili, ginger, peanuts and lime juice. The pop of flavors from the combination of all of those ingredients was phenomenal. Yes, the dish was definitely sour and salty, but the overall flavors were balanced out by the fresh herbs and raw cabbage. This turned out to be my favorite dish of the night.
One diner at our table suggested ordering a non-spicy dish to balance out all of our other spicy dishes. We went with the Chicken Satay, chicken marinated with fresh herbs and spices and grilled on skewers. It came with a smooth, creamy peanut sauce and a simple cucumber salad.
I was surprised at how tender the chicken pieces were - they really did a good job of not over-cooking the chicken. All in all, this is a good dish and a great option for those who can't handle spice or more unfamiliar flavors.
Yum Nuah, a Thai beef salad, came with a lovely, flavorful sauce and very tender beef. It is much better than the chicken version. We know this because they mistakenly brought us the chicken version first. The server did not notice until several moments later. Even though we had decided not to tell them about the mistake, they noticed and kindly offered to bring the right order. I'm glad they did, because the beef version is so much tastier. It actually uses a completely different (and in my opinion, better) sauce compared to the chicken version. The meat is more tender as well (our chicken was ever-so-slightly dry).
Pad Kee Mao, or drunken noodle, consists of pan-fried flat rice noodles with fresh and dried chili, basil, and greens. You can choose what kind of meat you want. I would definitely recommend springing for the more upscale meat, like crispy duck, which was really, really good. I loved the flavor of the crispy duck. The noodles were fine, but they did not stand out. They lacked the smoky wok hei that I look for (and rarely find) in a good Thai noodle dish.
Lotus of Siam specializes in Northern Thai dishes, and their version of Khao Soi, a Burmese influenced dish, is excellent. The rich, satisfying dish consists of egg noodles served in a curry sauce (with just a touch of coconut cream) with your choice of meat, pickled veggies, crispy noodles,sliced red onions, cilantro, and lime. We ordered it with beef, which was fine, but I think the dish would have been phenomenal with an upgraded crispy duck option. Next time!
All in all, I thought the dish was great and pretty similar to the version they make at Thai North in Boston.
We were intrigued by Kang Ka Noon, a spicy Northern style curry made from spicy young jackfruit (which they say is similar in texture to artichoke hearts), loads of spices, and a choice of meat (pork, chicken, or smoked sheet fish flakes). The dish was very flavorful and did not taste as sweet as I expected. I've had jackfruit plain before, and it's definitely a sweet fruit. However, here the dish was definitely more on the savory side. It was very flavorful, with tons of umami, spice, and texture. I liked it a lot.
They had a Lamb Rack Prik Thai Onn that was one of the specials of the day. It was well executed and very good.
Photo with chef-owner Chef Saipin at Lotus of Siam Las Vegas
All in all, it was another great meal at Lotus of Siam. This time I had a chance to meet Chef Saipin and her daughter Penny (not pictured), which was pretty cool. I was thrilled to discover yet another sour sausage dish that I love, and have decided that upgrading the meat is definitely worth it (hello crispy duck!).
If you can, definitely try to make the effort to get off Strip to try this gem of a restaurant.
Lotus of Siam
953 E. Sahara Ave. Ste A5,
Las Vegas, Nevada 89104
This trip (food, lodging, transportation) was sponsored by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. I was not paid to write this post or any other post in this series. All opinions are my own.