Las Vegas Dining: Lotus of Siam

Heading to CES 2013? Don’t miss Lotus of Siam.

Lotus of Siam
953 E Sahara Ave, Las Vegas, NV
(702) 735-3033

Web Site:

I freely admit that Las Vegas is not one of my favorite cities. It’s brutally hot, its out in the middle of the freakin’ desert and the airport is one of the worst I have ever experienced. The overall aesthetic and demeanor of the city is tacky and skeevy beyond belief in the most un-endearing way, not to mention the fact that the sound of the ever present slot machines drive me to near psychotic insanity whenever I have to go there, be it for some computer trade show or seminar.

Now, that being said, as soon as I heard I would have to go to Vegas for a few days this week, I immediately said to myself, “Cool! I get to eat at Lotus of Siam again!”

Lotus of Siam, which is located in an undistinguished commercial strip mall, has frequently been cited as one of the best, if not the best Thai restaurant in the country.

Is Lotus of Siam the best Thai restaurant in the United States? Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more

Lotus of Siam could hardly be characterized as a Las Vegas restaurant — in fact, it doesn’t look out of place in San Francisco or New York City. Completely un-touristy, if you’re looking for a way to escape the hotels and casinos, this is an oasis of great and reasonably priced Thai food where primarily locals eat.

The walls are adorned with photographs of all sorts of celebrities who have come for what is without question some of the best casual Thai dining to be found anywhere in the country.

Lotus of Siam has a huge, incredibly comprehensive Thai menu, with the usual and not so usual suspects  included among its many pages. However, what the restaurant is particularly known for is its Northern-style Thai specialties, which comes in a separate laminated two-sided handout. Northern-style food differs greatly from the Isaan-style that has become popularized in the United States, in that it is not dominated by the use of lime juice, peanuts, and coconut milk, and is generally characterized by the use of herbs and green chiles.

The second page of the Northern-style menu.

Thai Iced Tea. Lotus’ version is both sweet and smoky.

Northern-style green chili dip, Nam-Prik-Noom, which appropriately rhymes with DOOM. Essentially, this is a Thai take on chips and salsa, except that the salsa is nearly 100 percent chile, and the chips are made out of fried pork skin. There’s also a red chile version of this dip available. Break out the Nexium and Prilosec for this puppy — its going to set the tone for the entire meal if you order it.

The fried pork skins that go with the chili dip.

Green Chile Dip on fried pork skin.

Northern-style pork larb. Unlike the common Isaan version, this doesn’t use lime juice or shallots — its also considerably hotter and has a different herbal profile.

Pork Larb, plated.

Kang Hoh, a “Dry” pork curry with glass noodles and mixed vegetables. Lotus’s version of a street vendor or “hawker” dish.

Panang Curry

Mussels Appetizer

Grilled Pork Appetizer

Japanese-style Tempura Appetizer

Curry Fried Rice

9 Responses to Las Vegas Dining: Lotus of Siam

  1. josef says:

    My gf’s dad recommended this place when I was at CES. We were doing fancy Belagio and Treasure Island on other nights, but I am happy we found this place. The anti-ambiance from the rest of Vegas was an ambiance of its own. And the food was amazing. If you’re in Vegas, and want something more ‘real’ than this is the place for you.

  2. Joey Deckle says:

    This place is the best Thai I’ve ever been to. I used to work for an assoociation that held a convention in Vegas every year. No visit was complete without a visit to LOS. I seem to recall a stunning jackfruit curry.

  3. Matt Dustin says:

    I love Thai food. Laab moo is one of the best dishes, along with naamdok and somdumb! Awesome. Sawatdii khrap.

  4. In your opening paragraph, you’ve succinctly captured the toxic wasteland that is Las Vegas. Next time I’m stuck in that forsaken place I will check out LoS.

  5. Dammit! I was perfectly set with my freshly brewed coffee when I came across this Thai Ice Tea.

    i want one.


  6. What a great place. My only fond memory of Vegas that wasn’t coated in irony.

    I remember that the waitress was a little reluctant to give us the Northern Thai menu. Odd, since that is LOS’s speciality.

  7. i have a friend from vegas that constantly raves about this place! she won’t even touch thai food in NYC, because she says it just doesn’t compare. she knows the chef’s husband and says that he drives to california every week to pick up all the freshest ingredients. i will be heading out to vegas this fall and cannot wait to try it!

  8. David Breeze says:

    My brother in law has been raving about this place for years. We finally visited, and now I understand why. The pork sausage and crunchy fried rice could be the basis of a new religion! Seriously, it is one of the best things I have ever tasted. And the prices are 1/3 of what they should be. Take what you budgeted for one night of gambling and spend it here instead. You’ll go home a winner!

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