Lotus of Siam -- Fabulous Jonathan Gold Review in Gourmet
- Dave Feldman
Chowhound Jonathan Gold has written a wonderful review of the Las Vegas treasure, Lotus of Siam. It is featured in the August, 2000 issue of Gourmet. If you want to know why Jonathan, Tom Armitage, or I am so excited about Saipin's cooking and Bill Chutima's warmth and willingness to share his knowledge about Thai food, all you have to do is pick up this month's gourmet.
I have rejiggered a forthcoming trip to California so that I can visit Lotus many times. I can't help but agree with Jonathan's conclusion that "...this is the single best Thai restaurant in North America." And arguably, you could take out the "Thai" in the previous sentence.
I have to put forth another nominee for "the single best Thai restaurant in North America." I am an LA resident who tried three times to visit Lotus on a recent Vegas trip after reading rave after rave on this site. Finally, on my last night in Vegas, the Lotus of Siam was open! I was there with a date and we really wished we'd had more company so we could have ordered a plethora of dishes. The experience really was worth all the trouble, but I can't say that anything I ate eclipsed the food I had at my nomination for the Thai Title.
I must admit that I am spoiled in LA and have eaten at many good and a few great Thai restaurants (the best of which I have vainly tried to find again after they "relocated", please see the link below). I am surely no expert, but I think I have the nerve to swim against the tide by nominating a Thai restaurant of my own.
The nominee is Panoy Thai Restaurant in Grass Valley. I'm sure this far too far out of the way for many of you to get to, but my best pal happens to live a block away from it. She knows I love Thai food and took me there on a visit last summer. Our host/cook/waiter was a middle aged Thai man who appeared to be working solo. The service was pleasant and slow paced (like you would expect from a man greeting, taking orders, cooking and serving and not unlike the service you get at a restaurant where you order a four-course meal). The food was the star of this evening though. I have never ever tasted a yellow curry like the one I had that night. At first everyone took a small portion, but once we tasted it, the bowl made its rounds again and everyone was trying to be polite by not taking more than their fair share, but in the end someone upended the serving bowl directly into their mouth! It had that delicate sweet, savory, herby flavor that is exactly what I eat Thai food for; only this was the best balance of those flavors I have experienced in years. We also had the standard Tom Yum Gai, which had a mouthwatering broth and little dots of red oil on top (that red oil gets me every time!). Of course someone ordered Pad Thai, egg rolls and Mee Krob; all of which were stellar. But that yellow curry stole the show, it was too good.
I suggest to anyone visitng the Sacramento/Tahoe area that they make that sidetrip to Grass Valley/Nevada City and see for themselves what I am talking about.
Panoy Thai Restaurant
210 Neal St
Grass Valley, CA 95945
Hi, everybody...message board police, here....great impassioned posting, Heather but the best way to have done this would have been to post a quick reply here inviting people over to the California board to read your message about this possibly even better Thai. Then post the info over there.
Reasoning is this: your posting here will attract little discussion from people in Sacramento...and be of little use to chowhounds surfing the California board for tips re: Sacramento.
The more careful we all are in our board selections and thread titles, the more useful all of this will be for all of us!
Ok, back to the discussion....