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Jan 19, 2010 02:09 PM

Need Vegas Thai, Viet and Good Mexican

preferably not along the strip. Never been there before, but I'm seeing a lot of good Asian on Spring Mountain Rd just west of the strip.

Anyone with some good recs. Also need some 'REAL' Mexican (will travel if I have to out of town for this).

Thanks in advance.

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  1. For Thai I would recommend Lotus of Siam if you want to try some tasty northern Thai dishes that are hard to get elsewhere or Archi’s if you want classics like Pad Thai or a Spicy Basil dish.

    For Vietnamese I’d recommend Pho Saigon 8 on Spring Mtn if you want pho, bun, or a rice plate or Hue Thai (also on Spring Mtn) if you want banh mi.

    I’m consistently disappointed by the Mexican food out here; maybe other posters have had better luck...

    21 Replies
    1. re: Dhalsim

      Thanks for the prompt reply. I'll google them up for menus and I'm sure they'll fit what I'm looking for.

      As for the Mexican, oh well.

      1. re: JustJake

        Here is why you will find a hesitancy from many when it comes to Mexican suggestions - in the past 7-8 years Las Vegas has gone from being an inexcusably bad city for genuine Mexican food into one that is now filled with quality authentic options. But here is the problem - the overwhelming majority of the places that we have come to enjoy are little mom and pop places with no atmosphere, and inconsistent service (several of our favorites do not even print their menus in English). As such, those are not easy places to endorse. For traditional "sit down" restaurants we have yet to find anything really all that special, but if you do not mind the taqueria scene, or want some birria, menudo, pozole, etc. we do have some little gems around the valley.

        1. re: QAW

          What do you like for Birria? Or other mexican food regardless of ambiance. I've got no problems wandering into places where they speak no english. As long as the food is good I'll go adventuring. I'd love to know of a good menudo place for the morning after.

          1. re: Jase

            Mexican - Los Antojos @ 2520 Eastern Avenue
            - Los Molcajetes @ 1553 N. Eastern Avenue
            Vietnamese - Bosa 1@ 3400 S. Jones Blvd.

            1. re: Jase

              Birrieria Jalisco, in Commercial Center, has been one of those recent Mom-and-Pop success stories that have dotted the Las Vegas landscape of late. The owners are from Guadalajara, and like a typical birria parlor in that city their focus is on the single dish. They opened with a tiny storefront a few years ago, and have done well enough to buy the place next door and build out a comfortable restaurant area.

              1. re: QAW

                Awesome! Thanks Westie and QAW. Birrieria Jalisco is one I've been meaning to try, it just recently popped up on my radar and I was planning to hit it on my next trip. Hadn't seen anyone mention it and figured I'd take one for the team. But since you already did, glad to see the recommendation.

                I've been telling myself to try a few more places in that Commercial Center. Looks like there are some possibilities, sure there could be some misses, but what the heck, someone has to try them and report back.

                1. re: QAW

                  Thank you , QAW...I have been meaning to check out Birrieria Jalisco for awhile, but glad to know its got a chowhound stamp of approval. Of course, every time I go to that center I think "I should try that place someday.." about several restaurants there...and end up at LOS or lately, Namaste...

                  I think the hounds should organize a progressive Commercial Center dinner course at each restaurant there....

              2. re: QAW

                I love pozole. The only place I've found it was in Guardinos in Texas Station. Any place for pozole closer to Green Valley Ranch?

                1. re: shamu613

                  I like posole, too. Unless things have changed, all the locations of Gardunos and La Palapa serve it every day. I've had it in two places that I like better, Marianna's (on Valley View and Sahara) and La Mexicana, but unfortunately I think both of those were specials. But I'm sure there are many other places that offer it.

                  1. re: Dave Feldman

                    Sadly, the good folks at La Palapa told me this week (while on a pozole run) that they are about "month to month" right now, the problem being a location (2477 East Tropicana) that brings a higher rent than most of the mom and pop locations.It was also a shutout on the pozole, but for all of the right reasons - they had sold out the previous day, and were starting a new batch. You have to respect them for not forcing a bowl out there that they did not think was ready yet. It would be a shame to see them go, especially the $2.95 ceviche tostada that is one of the best menu item bargains in Las Vegas.

                    It is an unfortunate reality that so many of the pozole/menudo options are weekends only. We just lost El Concho a couple of months ago, which did have it daily, but I do believe that Taqueria Victor's (577 East Twain) keeps both pozole and menudo on their daily menu. Have not been there in a while, but on a cold and rainy week perhaps it is time for a return visit.

                  2. re: shamu613

                    Gardunos is in the Fiesta. Texas Station does not have a Mexican restaurant.

                    1. re: Eric

                      You are right of course. I was having a blond moment.

                      1. re: shamu613

                        Updating - Taqueria Victor's (577 East Twain) does indeed still have posole on the daily menu, and they serve a proper bowl.

                        1. re: QAW

                          Tried Taqueria Victor's last week. Address didn't match but suffice to say it's in the same shopping center in which the address exists. It's right on the corner of Palo Verde and Twain.

                          About the pozole... it may be proper, but wading through the bones on the meat was a bit annoying to me. Flanken might not be the best choice for meat in that dish. Unfortunately, I found the broth bland and the hominy chewy.

                          1. re: shamu613

                            Pozole is tough. Even good restaurants often strike out with it, for reasons I don't quite understand. At my last try, I was throwing in so much chile piquin that it was becoming a DIScomfort soup, albeit one with a kick. There has to be good pozole somewhere in LV.

                            1. re: Dave Feldman

                              Garduño's at Fiesta Rancho. Their pozole is killer. But for me, living in Henderson now, that's a long drive for a little bit of comfort.

                              1. re: shamu613

                                Is it any different from the Garduno's on Flamingo? I tried it at the latter location once and wasn't impressed.

                                1. re: Dave Feldman

                                  According to their website, it's the same.

                                  I'm a fan of soups. I'm not certain I've tried anything other than the posole there. But I like it.

                                  Noticed in another thread that a place nearer to me, Carlito's Burritos makes posole. Will try it later this week.

                              2. re: Dave Feldman

                                There seem to be a couple of common denominators with pozole around Las Vegas - first is that most proprietors seem to intentionally make it a little on the bland side, and then allow the patrons to dress it up the way that they prefer. I remember getting a carryout at Victor's once and while waiting a family of four all ordered pozole, and they all fixed up their bowls a different way, at a frantic pace that was kind of humorous to watch. Second is that unlike many soups and stews, pozole does not get better over time. That is likely why many will only serve it on weekends - hominy really can get chewy when it has been sitting in the broth too long. That is a shame, because when you can get a freshly made batch it can be one of the worlds great comfort foods.

                                1. re: QAW

                                  Exactly. At many places, pozole tastes more like a stock that a soup would be baed on rather than a finished product. But in my experience, when the broth itself isn't flavorful.

                                  I suspect another culprit in indifferent pozole is that most restaurants buy prepared hominy, to avoid the hassle not only of the soaking, but avoiding the time-consuming elimination of the shell and germ. A Mexican friend insists that this shortcut is responsible for many bad pozoles.

                    2. re: QAW

                      QAW, thanks. If an obscure hole in the wall is going to be serving up true indigenous Mexcian, don't fret about my reaction as my ability to get same here on the East Coast requires that one visit a less than desirable neighborhood (not always), it being a spartan storefront, but the common denominator is that '''great food" is to be had there.

                      Please, don't hesitate with a few of these hidden gems that I would never find out as I visit the city.

                2. Thai: Lotus of Siam, no question
                  Asian: Pho Kim Long (try saying it out loud), in Chinatown
                  Mexican: Sorry, not my cup of tequila


                  9 Replies
                  1. re: flightsurg

                    Flightsurg, hilarious!
                    But seriously, I am going to give this Pho place a try. I am not only looking for very good Pho but also delish fried egg roll.
                    Sometimes, also, members of my family are divided between Pho and Porridge. This place answers our call.

                    1. re: selfportrait93

                      I wonder if Pho Kim Long doesn’t get more love than it deserves because of its big billboards on Spring Mtn, its late hours, and its proximity to the strip. On the two occasions I’ve eaten there, I found their marketing to be quite a bit stronger than their cooking.

                      For me, the most important element in a bowl of pho is the broth. Good pho has a delicate, complex broth in which many subtle flavors are evident. I’ve found the broth at Pho Kim Long to be among the least delicate I’ve ever had. The last time I went, the broth didn’t even taste like pho. It had a dominant salty-sour taste and none of of the delicate cinnamon/anise notes I’d typically expect.

                      Anyone else have an opinion on PKL? I realize that broth can be inconsistent. Did I catch them on a couple of off nights?

                      Selfportrait, if you end up going please post a review…

                      1. re: Dhalsim

                        I sure will, Dhalsim.......early April. Can you suggest any other Pho places? I've tried both Pho So 1 and Pho Vietnamese along Spring Mountain. Pho So 1 was so different from its LA counterpart/ branch, especially their fried rolls. Pho Vietnamese(2nd Flr next to Capital seafood) was not very memorable. But I guess, 9n both occassions after a very cold evening ang long journey thru I -15, any hot soup would do for me.

                        1. re: selfportrait93

                          We have another LA branch that has recently opened and shows some promise - Pho 87 at 3620 S. Jones (half a block east of Spring Mountain). Although there has only been one visit they left an impression; the flavors were clean and vibrant from a deceptively clear broth, and spring rolls that were freshly made to order were also a hit.

                            1. re: selfportrait93

                              I like Pho Saigon 8 myself. I haven’t been to Pho 87 but QAW’s write up sounds promising. I will try to check them out this week.

                              1. re: Dhalsim

                                Ok so I went to Pho 87 for lunch today. It was as advertised. The pho broth was excellent. The shrimp and pork summer rolls were made fresh to order and were some of the best I’ve ever had. The carrots and herbs in the roll were crisp and crunchy and cool and the warm shrimp and pork appeared to have char from the grill. That contrast in temp and texture made them really stand out from rolls that have been pre-made and refrigerated. I should also add that the woman who runs the place is really friendly and pleasant. I will be back for sure.

                                Interesting menu note: Pho 87 offers a 96 oz bowl of pho. The ingredients weigh 6 lbs. If anyone can eat it in 30 minutes, it’s free. Otherwise it costs $24.95.

                                1. re: Dhalsim

                                  I am glad to hear that the challenge bowl has been changed to 30 minutes - when I was there earlier they had set 15 as the first target, and it seemed impossible to do in that amount of time (they say that it is the equivalent of three large bowls). Even a half hour seems to be pushing it; that kind of bowl is a marathon, not a sprint.

                                  1. re: QAW

                                    I did notice that the sign announcing the challenge had 15 minutes crossed out and 30 minutes written above it. The owner told me that a great many people have attempted this in LA but that only a handful were successful.