Lotus of Siam: Favorite Dishes
I had my favorite meal of 2013 at Lotus tonight. I was eating with a college friend who has many redeeming qualities but has one problematic one -- he doesn't eat any kind of seafood. But he drove up from Pasadena just to have dinner, and why should I insist on eating something I'll be able to try in a day or two.
Grilled Chicken Dumplings in suki sauce (the same sauce put on sea bass) (off-menu, at least for now)
Crispy Rice w/Sour Sausage
Drunken Noodles with Chicken
Crispy Duck with Chili Mint Leaves
Northern Pork Stew
Sticky Rice w/Mango
This was, I'm chastened to point out, for two people. I took some leftover duck and Northern Pork Stew and put it in my hotel room refrigerator. I'm even more chastened to admit I just polished those off.
The dumplings were the brainchild of the Chutimas youngest daughter, Sabrina, who was inspired by the grilled chicken at Sora Ramen. They were knockouts -- my friend loved them so much he ordered a second order.
I must have eaten the pork stew 30 times, but this was the first time in a few years, and it's still a fabulous dish. The other revelation, besides the dumplings, was the duck. I think the Penang sauce is easily the most popular of the crispy duck preparations, but I'd argue that the richness of the duck calls for more acid to balance it.
re: Dave Feldman
re: mucho gordo
Yes, the pork is boneless, cut in thick strips. The pork stew has been a mainstay on the menu. This was my late father's favorite dish at Lotus, and he said it reminded him of his Russian mother's cooking. Jim Leff used to theorize that all great soul food reminded diners of the great food of their own culture, and I think he's right. I believe this is the only dish at LOS that is made in advance. It tastes better the next day, so it travels really well (I've taken it back to NYC frozen and it is great defrosted in the next day or two).