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Feb 3, 2007 12:34 PM

Las Vegas Report -- LOS and Lindo Michoacan

In Vegas last week for Furniture Market, which did not leave many evenings free for hounding, but here is a quick update on a couple of well known offerings.

Lotus of Siam -- Wow. This was our third visit to LOS and it just gets better and better (and more crowded, which gives me faith in the human race)

Our server rememberd us from our visit in July and I took a bottle of 1983 Joseph Hoffer Reisling from the Mosel-Saar region, so needless to say the evening started off right.

We ordered beef and pork larb, nam kao tod, and papaya salad to start. The nam kao tod still wins hands down, but the others did not disappoint at all.

Thanks to the bottle I brought (thanks dad!) the owner started bringing out bottles of reisling from his personal stash and selling them at the same 38-50 dollar range that their wine list is know for. Considering the markup you pay in the rest of the country, much less vegas, this is so refreshing. Anyway.

Our server ordered dinner for us as usual, and the highlight was a shrimp curry. I have never had anything close to the kind of flavor that this dish offered. The only way I know to describe it is to think of the best lobster bisque you have ever had, and remove the heaviness of the cream and butter and replace it with a hint of coconut milk. We literally argued over who was going to get to soak up the extra sauce with rice.....honestly...

Also of note was a lightly fried sea bass on top of a sauce similar to the papya salad. Very interesting.

Dad's 24 year old reisling was awesome, we sent a glass to the kitchen, and were rewarded with the gift of a 1/2 bottle of 1996 JB Becker Barren Auslesse (sorry about my spelling), that paired perfectly with some tropical fruit sorbets.

I say for the complete package: overall value, knowledgable and friendly staff, and the range and balance of flavors in each dish, that LOS is one of the best restaruants in the country. If only they had cloth napkins..........

Lindo Michoacan -- Thanks to the hounds who have recommend this place. Worth the drive. While waiting on our table had a couple of margaritas, noticed that the bartender actually MADE them, rather than going to a 10 gallon tub, and realized we were in for a good meal.

Guacamole made tableside hit the spot.

Carne Asada and Carnitas were dinner, and both were solid. It is so rare to find REAL carnitas anymore, most of the lazy mexican places just drop them in the fryer......

Both Flour and Corn tortillas were fresh and stellar. Salsa de Tomatillo was also very good.

Finally, FWIW, we stayed downtown to be close to the show site, and we were really pleased with the Golden Nugget. It has been remodeled, the rooms were fine, and the restaurants were passable and not too expensive.

We ate in the hotel 3 nights because we were just too tired to venture out. Vic and Anthony's is their steakhouse and both their service and steak were quite good, the only joke was the markup on wine......truly laughable. But the waiter did offer some knowledgable suggestions to keep the bill reasonable.

Grotto is their Italian option and we ended up there 2 nights. Nothing amazing, just good food and attentive service, hard to ask for more......

Wanted to get to Rosemary's based on the recs of fellow hounds, but on the one night we did not have plans they did not have a reservation until 9:30. We will save that for next trip.

Thanks hounds!!

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  1. Thanks for the report, Taylor. I just ate at Lindo's sister restaurant, Bonito Michocan. The corn tortillas were superb, and we had an excellent fried fish and queso fundido, but I think LIndo is a little better on balance, especially the birria.

    Sounds like you had the giant sea prawns at LOS (the shrimp curry you are referring to). Were these giant crustaceans? If you go with a group and like lobster, you might try that. -- it's too big for even two people to share as an entree. No sauce, but a superb preparation. You can't make BIll much happier than sharing some great Riesling with him.

    1. And yet another off-menu way to celebrate the joy of crustaceans at LOS - ask for "Prawns Ocha", and you will not be disappointed.

      Maybe it is time for the menu to be updated. Or does that just cause too much of a rush on some of the specialties?

      1 Reply
      1. re: QAW

        I think Bill feels more comfortable not putting something on the menu that he can't promise. I think he feels comfortable with his supplier of sea bass and red snapper, but not some other fish (although the lobster looks like it's here to stay).

        I'm not familiar with Prawns Ocha. Could you describe it?

      2. "Ocha" is another classic example of LOS being able to work with a lot of flavors and textures and find just the right accents. They call them their soft-shell prawns, which are partially shelled - they are left connected at the tail, then lightly battered and quickly fried to create a crispy shell on one side and the sweetness of the meat on the other. Served over a crunchy salad mix (comparable to the base for the Crispy Catfish Salad), with a sublime sweet/hot dressing base that really makes all of the flavors come alive. I am finding the dish to be rather most of the menu.

        9 Replies
          1. re: cervisiam

            Thanks to QAW I was introduced to the OCHA Prawns....I can still taste the layering of flavors.... from delicate and subtle to dynamic!

            1. re: ciaogal

              I have finally convinced my husband to go to LOS this Friday for lunch. He really doesn't like Thai food, at least he thinks he doesn't. He has problems disgesting peanuts, he hates coconut, and he thinks he doesn't like "curry" although I have seen him eat some Indian curries. We'll have a light lunch, probably only two dishes, one of which will be the sour sausage/crispy rice appetizer. Now I'm reading about the ocha prawns and they sound great. My question is whether they have any curry-ish flavor either in the seasoning or in the salad that comes with. I know that there are many varieties of Thai curry but I'm trying to steer more or less clear of those flavors, and am I'm trying to choose dishes that will make him think he loves Thai food, or at least that he will eat it every now and again. I'm really excited about our first visit to LOS!

              1. re: Debbie W

                No curry in the Ocha Prawns...just a very nice sweet / hot sauce served on the side. You tell them how hot you would like it.....
                He will love it!

                1. re: Debbie W

                  So, what happened, Debbie? If I had seen your post in time, I might have recommended the barbecued beef or barbecued catfish with the lime-chilie sauce on the side (and/or tamarind sauce, if he liked that). In January, I took a Thai food lover to Lotus and she became obsessed with the barbecued beef.

                  1. re: Dave Feldman

                    Dave, you're on time! We leave for Vegas on Thursday 4/19, and our LOS lunch is Friday. Thanks for the bbq beef/catfish recommendation. Before reading about the ocha prawns, I'd been thinking our second dish would be a catfish dish, so I may still decide on that. We're eating dinner at Stripsteak that night so we probably don't want beef for lunch.

                    1. re: Debbie W

                      The whole catfish is quite large, of course. If you feel like having an equally delicious, if less filling and less spectacular catfish dish, try the hoh mok plar, pieces of catfish with egg and cabbage, and chili paste. It's a homey favorite of mine (egg and fish is a great combination), but you don't get the charcoal-grill taste. If you do get the whole catfish, ask nicely if you might be able to sample both sauces.

                      1. re: Dave Feldman

                        Is the bbq beef the whole cow?! I do like a whole catfish sometimes (i.e. at Shiro in Pasadena) but not necessarily for a light(ish) lunch! Thanks for the advice on the other catfish dish. I keep adding to my LOS notes.

                        1. re: Debbie W

                          The BBQ beef is prime, marinated and charcoal-grilled. It isn't a huge portion, and is served over cabbage and accompanied by a sauce that is described on the menu as spicy, but is not. Folks who order one on Lotus's 1-10 scale can eat it -- easily.