Do not let the dilapidated, East side Vegas shopping center deter you from walking into Lotus of Siam. Behind the nondescript entrance intoxicating aromas entice you with an overabundance of simple yet exquisite Thai cuisine dishes.
My dining group and I were punctual for our dinner reservation (dinner reservations are highly recommended) and were promptly seated in full view of the acclaimed wine cellar collection.
After perusing the vast menu and conferring with our waiter we methodically choose dishes from various regions in Thailand. We found the Northern region to be the most interesting. Even with a filled to capacity restaurant our server delivered our food in a timely manner.
A main staple in Asian cuisine, garlic prawns are deep fried in the shell and served with a pungent sweet-salty garlic sauce. The Soft Shell Crab salad combines fresh chiles, lime and peanuts. The small crab, with a light and crispy outer shell was tender and moist inside - a crustacean lover's delight.
A popular Northern dish is the Nam Prik Noom - gently roasted sweet green chilies, fresh garlic and tomatoes are pounded to a flavorful pulp in a mortar and served with pieces of crackly pig skins and sticky rice. We requested Chef kick up the Scoville units for some serious classic Thai chili heat. The result, HOT and delicious.
After enjoying two bottles of crispy white wine and traditional Sticky Rice with Mango for dessert it was time for my satiated dining group to depart Lotus of Siam. As I waited for our taxi to arrive I visualized future trips to the neglected shopping center where star Chef Saipin Chutima passionately awaits those who savor traditional Thai cuisine.