LOTUS OF SIAM
620 East Flamingo Road
Las Vegas, NV 89119
Mon-Thurs 11 AM–2:30PM, 5:30–10PM
Sat-Sun 5:30–10 PM
It was my girlfriend’s birthday and she chose Lotus of Siam for her dinner celebration. I was excited because I had always heard great things about their iconic location in the Commercial Center District of the City that was forced to close due to rain-related roof damage, but I had never eaten there. The new location is centrally located on East Flamingo not too far from the Las Vegas Convention Center, so it is the perfect place for tourists as well as locals.
The only reservation time they had available on the day we wanted to go was 5:30 PM and while that is typically too early for us to have dinner, we grabbed the reservation; it had been a busy convention week for Las Vegas and they were fully committed. A few of us had planned to meet at 5:00 PM for pre-dinner cocktails. When I drove into the parking lot, I was surprised to see a line at the door. We were told that we would not be allowed in until they opened for dinner at 5:30 PM. With all the restaurant sales managers and event planners in our group, all we could think of was that their bar just sat empty when all these people could be drinking while waiting for their reservation; times that by 30 minutes 356 days each year and that’s a lot of lost revenue. The doors finally opened at 5:26 and after we checked in, we were told to wait in the lounge and order a drink because we would not be seated until exactly 5:30 PM.
Once we were seated, we explained to our server that there would be one less person in our party because our friend was not feeling well. The server had no qualms about showing us his annoyance as he removed one place setting from our table. We immediately broke out into the Happy Birthday song for my friend who was looking a tad bit irritated by the experience so far but once our adult beverages arrived, everyone calmed down.
We started with the Mee Krob appetizer, crispy vermicelli rice noodles mixed in-house made the sweet and sour sauce with chicken and shrimp. We added diced jalapenos from our relish plate to give it an extra spicy kick. We ordered several different entrees so we could all have a taste of each other’s dishes, Yum Woon Sen, the cellophane spicy salad; Yellow Curry, a mild mouth-watering curry with coconut cream, potatoes, carrots and chicken; a dish off the “Chef’s Choice” menu, Chicken Rama, a charbroiled chicken drenched in the most incredible peanut sauce with diced peanuts on beds of sugar snap peas and asparagus, and the Drunken Noodles with soft shell crab and pan-fried flat rice noodles. Everything was flavorful, distinctive, and memorable. I was so disappointed we did not order their famous deep-fried garlic prawns. I saw it served to the table next to us and it looked amazing but at least I know what to order next time, and there will definitely be a next time.
For dessert, we saved room for the mango sticky rice, but we were told it had been 86ed because mangoes were out of season! When a member of our group said she saw mangoes at Whole Foods just the other day, the server said all their vendors must have bought them all out but as an alternative, she offered the homemade mango cake with drizzled mango sauce. We were a bit confused by her contradiction but ordered it anyway; it was delicious and worthy of my friend’s birthday celebration.
Thai Cuisine, characteristically known for its hot and spicy, sweet and sour flavors and a unique selection of traditional and obscure foods, has become increasingly popular in the U.S. The award-winning Lotus of Siam is one of the best Thai restaurants in the City where guests can enjoy Chef/Owner Saipain Chutima’s dishes that have been passed down from generation to generation. They offer a full bar with an extensive wine list and comfortable dining in a beautiful venue with authentic décor from Thailand. This is the perfect place for groups and intimate dining, a good introduction to Northern Thai food and because of the delicious and affordable menu, a restaurant that enjoys repeat customers.
What to know before you go…if you plan to just walk-in, typically for lunch you can be seated immediately, and even though Lotus of Siam is definitely worth the wait, if you prefer not to hang out for 2.5 hours, your best bet is to make a reservation, and if it is a busy convention week/month in Las Vegas, call far enough in advance.