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What should I order when I go to Lotus of Siam?

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KarenNYC Oct 3, 2007 06:57 PM

we are heading to Las Vegas and obviously need to eat at Lotus of Siam. Is there any special dish that can not be missed? also, should we go for lunch or dinner or does it make any difference???

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  1. ccl1111 RE: KarenNYC Oct 3, 2007 08:03 PM

    As far as lunch or dinner, from what I've read, lunch is a great option, just don't go buffet. Order off the menu. No lunch service on Sat/Sun.

    Reposting rest from your other post:
    I'll chime in as I am LOS obsessed but definitely not one of the LOS pros here.

    Last meal there we had...
    -the Nam Kao Tod (would definitely try this as it is a board fave), minced sour sausage mixed with green onion, fresh chili, ginger, peanut, crispy rice, tons of fresh herbs, and lime juice - the sausage is chopped tiny, tiny so don't expect to see chunks of it.
    -a softshell crab salad (haven't seem mentioned as it's a special & not on the menu - got it when I asked for it last time though - this is one of my personal faves) with chopped chilis, cilantro, mint, bean sprouts, green apple, peanutes, jullienne carrots, julienne red peppers, cashews. I have been craving this daily for well over a month now.
    -excellent shrimp curry with cognac sauce (regular special)
    -wonderful drunken noodles with chicken
    -out of this world sticky rice with mango and coconut ice cream. (Do NOT pass on the coconut ice cream or sticky rice. I would never ever miss this.)

    You can also ask the staff there for help. Last time Tony led us with some recommendations & I would definitely trust him again - told him what like/are looking for.

    You can also search the boards for recommendations. Dave Feldman is Mr. LOS - maybe been there 100+ times? Here are some notes I have on his recs that I have on my list to try:

    -khao soi (personal fave)
    -hoh mok plar (personal fave)
    -smoky sheetfish soup
    -green chilie dip especially recommended if group likes spicy dishes
    -northern pork stew especially for garlic lovers
    -northern larb, wetter than southern variety.
    -sua rong hai - outstanding charbroiled beef dish - not too spicy

    1. q
      QAW RE: KarenNYC Oct 4, 2007 07:09 AM

      It really is a good idea to let the servers guide you through based on your own taste preferences, since there are so many dishes off of the main menu that are outstanding, and there are a lot of specials based on what they brought back from the markets. The softshell crab salad referred to above is one of them; they also do it with prawns when they do not have softshell's available. If you ask for the "Ocha" salad they will know what you are referring to. Among the other current favorites not on the menu is "Peppercorn Beef", which you can combine with one of the seafood dishes for a unique surf and turf (the Scallops with Red Curry pair wonderfully with the beef dish, creating a nice contrast and helping to bring out some of the subtler aspects of each).

      3 Replies
      1. re: QAW
        f
        foodiefromfl RE: QAW Oct 6, 2007 09:32 AM

        My first time there was last Sunday. You have to try the softshell crab salad if it is available.
        Our server made some recommendations with a little input from us. Everything exceed our expectations. You are in for a treat!

        1. re: foodiefromfl
          ccl1111 RE: foodiefromfl Oct 7, 2007 01:31 AM

          What did you have? I CRAVE that salad.

          1. re: ccl1111
            f
            foodiefromfl RE: ccl1111 Nov 6, 2007 04:24 PM

            Did I ever respond to you? Can't remember, but anyways. We had the larb, softshell crab salad, coconut chicken soup, a rice noodle dish that our server recommended and Thai basil chicken. We went back a second time and tried the northern larb, a curry dish, the same soup and salad. I am definitelt going to try the sausage dish and coconut ice cream next time we go.
            Absolutely loved the food at LOS!

      2. Ed Dibble RE: KarenNYC Oct 4, 2007 07:34 AM

        No expert here, but the bbqed catfish is the best whole fish dish I've ever eaten. Other seafood specials have been outstanding also. Of course the nam kao tod is superb.

        LOS is expert at matching reasonably priced rieslings with the food.

        Staff knowledgable and helpful.

        1. Cookiefiend RE: KarenNYC Oct 4, 2007 04:24 PM

          KarenNYC

          I'm so glad you asked this. I'm heading to Las Vegas next week and I want to eat at LOS too. I've poured over the board (yelling "I'm not worthy" regarding Dave Feldman - some one said that when they got there they were just going to holler "Is Dave Feldman in the building", I laughed till Mr CF got annoyed with me) and I've written down a few of the must haves:

          The Nam Kao Tod
          The Salmon Panang
          The Garlic & Pepper wings
          The Crispy Catfish Salad
          and the Mango with sticky rice

          My only concern with LOS is that I can't have shell fish in any variety including oyster sauce. I will ask our waiter/waitress and Bill (who I don't know but have heard so much about) what I should do. I hope its not.... Leave now. :-)

          At any rate I'm bringing my EPI pen and a few girlfriends for taster/back-ups. One's an RN!

          Have fun!

          1. d
            Dave Feldman RE: KarenNYC Oct 4, 2007 11:29 PM

            Gee, I feel like I don't have much to add. :-)

            I'm going to be in Las Vegas myself this coming week. Any Chowhounds want to meet up for a meal at Lotus. Karen? Cookiefiend? My email address is listed in my profile.

            1. m
              Michelle RE: KarenNYC Oct 5, 2007 02:25 PM

              Hello,

              In addition to what's been said already, I would add the Thai Beef Salad. It is by far the best I've ever had and is not to be missed!!

              1. m
                Mindtrain RE: KarenNYC Oct 8, 2007 06:44 PM

                I second the tip of asking your server. When I was last at LOS in June I had the Drunken Noodles Sea Bass -- Stir fried flat rice noodles topped with deep fried sea bass and spicy chili mint basil garlic sauce serve on a bed of green-- It was very good and very filling. I had no room for dessert.

                1. d
                  Dave Feldman RE: KarenNYC Oct 9, 2007 07:22 AM

                  I had a spectacular solo dinner at LOS last night, and ate two items that aren't on the menu but are usually available. First came deep-fried garlic shrimp with a delicious chili-lime sauce on the side. Then came a surprise. Hoh mok plar is one of my favorite dishes at LOS -- pieces of catfish with egg, cabbage, with a judicious amount of coconut milk and curry. The same type of preparation with mixed seafood, "hoh mok seafood," has always been available, but I've always felt that shellfish doesn't go as well with the cabbage and eggs as the catfish in the hoh mok plar.

                  Tonight, Saipin served me the same luscious sea bass used in the nightly specials in a hoh mok preparation, steamed perfectly, with a little more curry than usual, and topped with a generous amount of fresh basil. As it is cooked in an aluminum foil "basket," the fragrance of the dish was downright inspiring.

                  This is about the seventh different type of sea bass preparation I've tried at LOS, and it's my favorite.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Dave Feldman
                    ccl1111 RE: Dave Feldman Oct 9, 2007 12:55 PM

                    Let us know what you have for lunch there today and dinner there tonight. : ) I'm sure there are at least one or two more LOS freaks out there that can't get enough.

                    1. re: ccl1111
                      d
                      Dave Feldman RE: ccl1111 Oct 10, 2007 02:14 AM

                      Truth be told, I was stuffed from the last night's meal, so I managed to sneak out only eating one dish -- the khao soi with chicken. For maybe the first time, I managed to slurp the noodles without getting any of the soup on my shirt or the table. It was a proud moment. I also had a wonderful dinner last night at a Peruvian place, which I'll post separately.

                      I've never gone for two meals at LOS without the crispy rice w/sour sausage or sticky rice dessert. I'm not sure if this is a sign of growth or diminishment.

                      1. re: Dave Feldman
                        m
                        Michelle RE: Dave Feldman Nov 1, 2007 10:52 AM

                        Hi Dave,

                        Did you post about the Peruvian place? I've been looking for it and seemed to have missed it. Love that kind of food and didn't know there was a place in Vegas! Thanks!

                        1. re: Michelle
                          d
                          Dave Feldman RE: Michelle Nov 1, 2007 11:26 PM

                          I sure did, and I was very enthusiastic -- based on one meal, it's the best Peruvian I've ever had in LV. Please note that the service seems to be extremely kind but not very professional, partly, I'm sure, because of language issues. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/449396

                  2. c
                    cervisiam RE: KarenNYC Oct 9, 2007 01:54 PM

                    also, in addition to everything that's been said, i HIGHLY encourage getting takeout right before you head to the airport for your flight back. LOS is so much better than terra blue chips, biscoff cookies, and any of the airport places. dishes that i've taken on the plane are nam kao tod, pad thai (yes i know! not a specialty, but you have to think of things that will be tasty at room temperature), and yum woon sen (glass noodle spicy salad). and definitely request the sticky rice with mango--they package the coconut sauce and 'nuts' separately so you can add it on your own

                    1. c
                      christy319 RE: KarenNYC Oct 30, 2007 03:57 PM

                      Does LOS do take out or are they too upscale for that?

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: christy319
                        d
                        Dave Feldman RE: christy319 Oct 30, 2007 09:16 PM

                        Yes, they will do takeout, but not every dish survives as well, especially if it has to endure a long car or plane ride. One thing LOS will do is deconstruct dishes so that ingredients retain their texture. Some dishes, such as the northern pork stew, travel really well -- it is just about the only dish that is prepared in advance, and sometimes LOS even has some frozen. If it's in the house, it works particularly well.

                        If you want food to takeout for home or hotel, it works well with many dishes.

                        1. re: Dave Feldman
                          c
                          christy319 RE: Dave Feldman Nov 6, 2007 09:37 AM

                          Thanks. It's for the hotel. I just get so tired of eating alone in restaurants when traveling for work that I'd rather get take out if possible.

                          1. re: christy319
                            c
                            christy319 RE: christy319 Dec 11, 2007 03:16 PM

                            Well they were very nice about doing take out. I also ate in. The noodles with curry broth and pickled veggies ("A" on the northern Thai menu) were outstanding, as was the green chili dip. The Tom Kah Kai was not so great-excessively salty and oily. The spicy glass noodle salad was probably the spiciest thing I've ever had (and I'm not normally a wuss-I eat a ton of Szechuan). I would have loved it but it really was painfully spicy. Next time I know that when they label something spicy, they mean it!

                      2. hungryann RE: KarenNYC Dec 16, 2007 09:20 AM

                        I was recently there and I left with mixed feelings about LOS. I can't honestly say this is the best thai restaurant in North America; although some of their dishes were good, I have had comparably good dishes in cities not known for their thai such as my hometown of Montreal and SF. I am not even comparing it to the food in Bangkok and Thailand in general since that is in a league of its own.
                        We started with the mee krob (average - too sweet), the satay (good to excellent) and the much talked about nam kao tod (average to good, although honestly I could not see any sausage in the rice...is this how it is supposed to be?). I then had the tom kah kai and I agree with christy319 that it is too oily and salty. The spice level was good (I was tearing) but it lacked balance on the sour end. We then proceeded to the panang curry with tofu and veggies (very good but too mild even though I had asked for an 8/10) and the pad thai (good version but noodles were too thin to hold the lovely sauce). Sadly for desert, the mango sticky rice was not in season so I ordered the fried banana (a totoal dissapointment as it was served cold and the sticky rice had coconut flakes in it which negatively affected the texture for me). In all the versions of sweet sticky rice I have had in the US, Canada and Thailand, I have never encountered this. Another aspect that puzzled me is that every food course was brought out extremely fast; as if the food was ready and sitting in the kitchen. We did not wait at all in between courses and the three appetizers arrived within 5 minutes of ordering...very peculiar! It could explain the cold fried banana roll.
                        All in all a very meh experience. It makes me wonder has the quality gone down beacuse of its popularity and have they turned to formulaic cooking and preparations to meet the increased demands? Was it an off night or where my expectations too high because of all the hype?
                        It remains in my mind a good thai restaurant and given the chance I would return to sample other things such as the khao soi. I should also add that the service was courteous and efficient.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: hungryann
                          Frodnesor RE: hungryann Dec 16, 2007 01:42 PM

                          Wow - I'd love to hear responses to this from others who have visited recently. I'm going to be in LV next week and am struggling to figure out when to squeeze in an LOS visit.

                          1. re: Frodnesor
                            AlFerris RE: Frodnesor Dec 21, 2007 05:37 PM

                            I was at LOS on Tuesday for lunch since my dinners were booked for my short trip.

                            You should definitely pass on the lunch buffet--it's pretty average. We ordered from the menu and had the raved about nam kao tod, which I loved; the ton kai kah, which I thought was very well done, contrary to some of the other posters; the green chili dip from the northern menu, which was fine, but I wouldn't order again; one of the jackfruit entrees, also from the northern menu, which was, again, fine, but nothing spectacular--a little too soupy and bland for my tastes; and the duck curry, which was quite good and not too greasy--a pleasant surprise, as duck dishes are very often way too greasy. The service was very pleasant and we appreciated their level of attentiveness. I would definitely go back.

                            1. re: Frodnesor
                              Frodnesor RE: Frodnesor Dec 22, 2007 07:03 AM

                              We did manage to squeeze in our visit to LOS on Wednesday night, pretty much straight off the plane after dumping our luggage at the hotel. Regretfully didn't have big appetites after traveling, as this is the kind of place at which I could happily work my way through the menu.

                              We went with:
                              - nam kao tod (crispy rice /w minced sausage)
                              - larb koong (minced shrimp w/ chopped onion, chili and lime)
                              - kang hung lay (northern pork stew)

                              Everything was delicious with flavors that just popped. The pork stew was really interesting, with spicing that tasted almost more Indian than what I'm accustomed to from Thai food. A bottle of a Willi Schaefer riesling was a great accompaniment.

                              A couple general notes from my visit that I haven't seen mentioned elsewhere:
                              - portions on many items can be somewhat small, so if you have an appetite don't hesitate to order another. More specifically, items that are priced around $10 or so are reasonably sized portions more like appetizer size (i.e. the northern pork stew).
                              - ask for the wine list. It is one of the most remarkable lists I've seen in any restaurant, Thai or otherwise, and the prices are very reasonable.
                              - their spice-level-chart was, to my palate, pretty reliable. Mrs. F got the larb as a 6 out of 10 and it still carried pretty good heat.

                              My gratitude goes out to all on this board who have recommended LOS and provided tips.

                              1. re: Frodnesor
                                Debbie W RE: Frodnesor Dec 22, 2007 08:07 AM

                                We had northern pork stew on our last trip a couple of weeks back. I didn't catch the Thai name. Did yours have glass noodles and various veggies such as string beans? We loved it. I thought the texture of the pork was incredible, so tender but not falling apart. When the waitress brought the dish she made a funny comment along the lines of "smells bad but tastes great" but we didn't think it smelled unpleasant.

                                The problem we have is not being able to sample enough dishes. It is usually just me and my husband, and usually for lunch, and he insists on the nam kao tod. So how many more dishes can we eat? One or two, that's it. Last time we did the nam kao tod, the spicy shrimp salad (delish) and that pork stew. We were beyond full.

                                Enjoy the rest of your trip.

                                1. re: Debbie W
                                  q
                                  QAW RE: Debbie W Dec 22, 2007 06:07 PM

                                  There are actually two different pork dishes on the nothern menu - the Kang Hun Lay is meat without vegetables, in a curry with some Burmese/Indian overtones that has a hint of sweetness, some of that coming from roasted garlic (you will usually find several whole cloves per order). The other is Kang Hoh, which relies more on dry spice, but does have glass noodles and some other vegetables with it.

                                  1. re: QAW
                                    Debbie W RE: QAW Dec 22, 2007 08:45 PM

                                    The one we had was the dry curry. Loved it. Thanks for the info.

                          2. otis RE: KarenNYC Jan 7, 2008 07:10 AM

                            I'm on my way to LV for CES and would like to eat there Weds 1/9 for a late lunch (preferred) or Tues night 1/8 after 8. Any CHers want to join me so we can try more dishes? p.s. I ate there this time last year at dinner without a reservation and had to wait 90 minutes for a table for two in the evening, so please post quickly if you want to meet up. Or better yet, email me directly: otis at otismaxwell.com.

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