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Jan 21, 2011 02:39 PM

Lotus of Siam try it

Lotus Siam is a new place on 5th and 9th. Many of the staff including the chef are Thai. This is a good thing since it is Thai food that they make. The room is nice, the food is good, the service is hit and miss.
Reservations are a good idea. The tod mon pla is good, fresh not frozen like some thai places. The stuffed chicken appetizer is ok, I've never seen this in a Thai restaurant but have had it at Vietnamese places such as Indochine. It was ok, not as good as Ive had elsewhere. The pad thai was made well, small portions but not spicy like the pad thai in Thailand. Much of the food tastes good but lacks authenticity, more geared to Western taste. The crispy duck was good but very small portion for around $26. The Larb kai was excellent, a popular Issan dish, it was really authentic and my favorite dish. The Crispy deep fried snapper is also excellent, a huge fish and done just right it costs anywhere from $45 to $55. I asked for thai fish sauce that i like to dip it in, what they gave me was a watered down version of what nam pla should taste like. The scallops were fresh and tasted good.
The jasmine rice is great, and they keep refilling the basket of rice , i love the rice. I wish they had sticky rice but they dont , however they do have fried rice which is just ok. The taro cake is really really good. They have Sing ha beer and some japanese beers, i like Chang beer with my thai food they do not have that brand. I have been there 3 times and will surely be back. It is probably the best thai food in Manhattan, expensive, small portions, but now I know what to tell them to fix my food up to make it more authentic on some dishes. I recommend this place

430 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10003

Lotus of Siam
24 5th Ave, New York, NY 10003

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  1. You may not know a couple of things.
    1) This is a spinoff of the original in Las Vegas - which is regarded by many as the holy grail of Thai food in America
    2) There is a lengthy thread already on this board and many reports have been negative and say that the original LOS owners have not ported this well
    3) Some folks have opined that the Nam Kai Tod is pretty good - it happens to be my favorite dish at the Vegas original.

    1. Have you tried Kin Shop? Even though Harold Dieterle is not Thai, I think he has a better idea of what interesting Thai food should be. The funny thing is that in reading your review, I see you have many of the same complaints about Lotus that I had (the tiny portion of duck, for example), yet you seem so positive and I am so disappointed. And the Thai "chef" apparently spent a week or so in New York teaching the (non-Thai) kitchen staff. I do plan to go back and give this another chance, but it is far short of what I think it could have been.

      1. Boy, I must be reading the wrong reviews and commentary but most every credible review I have seen pans this spot. Which is unfortunate. The city certainly needs more good Thai spots. Maybe it is just a breaking in time.

        3 Replies
        1. re: comiendosiempre

          FWIW, it was just reviewed in NY Magazine, and the review was very positive, even fawning, so I am afraid it will continue to thrive without much effort.

            1. re: comiendosiempre

              Thanks for the link. That one is quite accurate.

        2. i reviewed it on the other thread, but i must jump in to to say: the staff are NOT fact even in the kitchen, there is only one single Thai person...on the night i went, not one of non-kitchen staff were Thai, unless you count a Thai-American receptionist who doesn't speak Thai...

          1 Reply
          1. re: Simon

            It's strange the first night i went most of the wait staff were Thai, from BKK, to be exact. The hostess speaks Thai, and the chef's niece was there who also speaks Thai. The chef was a Thai woman cooking the second night I was there. I heard the original place in in a mall in Vegas, which kind of downplays their fame. The second night I could not find any of the Thai waitresses that gave such good service. So I guess it's hit and miss as to whether there are Thai staff or not. On that note I will add that many many Thai restaurants in the city are owned and operated by Chinese and do not speak Thai at all. Some that I know were trained by a Thai chef I know. In any case I will go back to Lotus of Siam for a third time and see if I can guide them to customize my dishes to be more authentic. The Larb is excellent there.

            Lotus of Siam
            24 5th Ave, New York, NY 10003

          2. Look in the window some Thurs. or Fri. at prime time. It's maybe 1/3rd full. They either have to lower their ridiculous prices, ( I'm not holding my breath), or give diners a fair portion for what they're paying. I expect it to be gone in a year or so. The neighborhood is certainly not supporting it and it hardly seems like a destination venue, though the maitre'd would like to make it appear as if it is. He makes walk-ins jump through hoops to get a table, even though the place looks like a graveyard.