VegasEats: Lotus of Siam
If you're like me - and face it, who isn't - you've probably heard 5,000 different people tell you 5,000 different times that a stop at Lotus of Siam is a MUST for every Vegas tripper. 5,000 times, in 5,000 different ways I nodded my head and ignored them. I'm a Thai food aficionado. I've eaten my way through a sizable percentage of L.A.'s great and not so great Thai joints and spent eight days and nights eating my way from Banglampoo to Koh Samui and back to Bangkok.
So why haven't I been to Lotus of Siam? The answer is simple: trip reports, I fucking hate them. Every Vegas trip report I've ever read had the same familiar refrain: "as is our group's custom's, we headed over to Lotus of Siam for a meal. It was great as usual and then we headed over to The Riviera for the Splash show."
Needless to say, when Rich (Editor in Chief of WinoTripping.com) laid out his plans for our "Wino Vegas" trip, included on the list was a stop at Lotus of Siam. Being that this trip was to be wine-centric, a subject matter I'm not well versed in, Rich's statement that Lotus of Siam was known in wine circles for having an insane array of Rieslings (one of the few wine varietals I've got some degree of familiarity with) I accepted that now was finally the time to step into the Lotus.
Lotus of Siam is located about 5 minutes east of the Strip on Sahara inside a gigantic 70's style shopping square, stores on three sides and a humongonormous parking lot in the middle. Don't be scared away by the supremely ghetto sign/door/trash pile that faces Sahara as we were, make the first right and pick from the 100,000 empty parking spaces.
We arrived during the closing minutes of the lunch buffet and were seated in the larger dining room directly in front of a glass walled wine storage room. On the walls hung numerous framed certificates of awards from the James Beard Foundation, Wine Spectator, various City proclamations and honors and a wall of fame featuring posed and candid photos of local and international celebrities.
Without haste, Rich dove into the wine list, marveling that 35 pages of it were devoted to Rieslings. Wow. With some help from the sommelier, Rich decided on a 2009 Goldropfchen St. Urbans-Hof, $48, which we were told would have a sweetness that balanced perfectly with an order on the spicier side of the spectrum. Too dry, and it won't cut the spicy food, too sweet and the spice will be flooded with sweetness. The waiter confirmed our spice level preference (very spicy) while taking our order and popped open the bottle. The Goldropfchen was light with a delicate mix of green apple and peach sweetness and a slightly syrupy consistency. Not dry, slightly sweet... can't wait to see what this wine tastes like with the food.
First up appetizers. We both decided to start off with some tried and true Thai traditional appetizers for historical comparison.
Tom Kah Kai. Spicy chicken, lemon grass, mushroom and coconut milk soup. First taste was all coconut milk, no zest... a supreme disappointment. I decided to take a lesson learned from ramen obsession and give the soup a healthy stirring. Whammo. Sharp, sweet, tangy, with softly poached chicken that just melted in your mouth. Holy moly.
Chicken Satay. Marinated and grilled chicken breast skewers with cucumber salad and peanut sauce. Again, the chicken was cooked to utter perfection... soft pillows of juicy chicken meat with a very thin, tangy smoky crust, the opposite of most densely flat and chewy chicken satay you'll get from your local delivery joint. The peanut sauce was another eyeopener - creamy, tangy richness with delicate notes of sweetness, not saturation. Holy f'ing moly. Kizi games play today. Kizi games play online at this website. Play today at the best kizi games.
BBQ Chicken. Smoky, spicy, and finger lick'n good. Even the nasty bits - nodules and tendons - were chewy crunchy like outer space popcorn. The spoon on BBQ sauce was spicy, sweet and brought out the smoky semi-sweetness in the chicken. Holy Muthna F'ing Moly.
Pepper Garlic Chicken. Tender slices of chicken, green onion and cilantro covered in black pepper and chunks of garlic served on cucumber slices. This was a spicy creamy house on fire and it was here that our choice of Riesling was put to the test. The dish was quite spicy, but the riesling put the fire out deliciously without ruining the palate with sweetness. Holy Mary Muthna F'ing Moly.
Spicy Rice with Pork. Rice, pork, pepper, cilantro, green onions, deep fried thai basil. By far this was the hottest dish we ordered and turned me into a fire breathing dragon. Wow. Just wow.
We savored every morsel of this meal, constantly trying spoonfuls of every dish we ordered against the wine in every combination possible. Eventually, the dining room cleared out and the restaurant closed to prep for dinner service. Still, we sat there, dining, dishing, drinking and eventually tapping out from the orgy of flavor contained at Lotus of Siam. Yes, it lived up to the hype, in fact it exceeded it, a rarity in a town built on hype. But Lotus of Siam is different... the energy others spend on fanning the fires of hype, they put into making their food some of the best you will ever eat anywhere ever.
The bill: $102.43 plus tip.
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