Thai

Lotus of Siam is a bit off the strip, and sits in a sketchy area. There is nothing special about this place, inside and out. After reading so much about it, and hearing Andrew Zimmern rave about this place, it was on top of my list for my last Vegas trip. It goes to show, all of the top restaurants aren’t inside the popular casinos and resorts. Most of them are all commercialized and owned by restaurant groups. Lotus of Siam is one of one. It makes it unique and special, and is a part of Vegas as much as any of the popular resorts.

We started things off with something exciting and new. The Koong char num plar, raw prawns marinated in seasoned fish sauce was a favorite of ours. With the spicy fish sauce, fresh garlic and roasted chili paste, the dish definitely had flavor. Ironically, I used a bunch of that fish sauce to get rid of the rawness and “fishy” flavor. Spiciness met sweetness from the shrimp. The texture of this was spectacular. A bit on the sticky side, the texture took some getting used to. Still a great way to start.

My personal favorite was the Nam Kao Tod. It was a crispy rice mixed with minced sour sausage, green onion, fresh chili, ginger, peanuts, and lime juice. Texturally different from the raw shrimp, this had a nice crunch, and the crunch played a great role in this dish. The ginger flavor popped and the citrus was key. It was delicious and refreshing.

The dish of all dishes–the one to get here always Is the Drunken Noodle Prawn. Thick rice noodles are on fried with deep fried prawns. The shell I kept on and the frying process makes the skins edible. The special blend of garlic sauce and Thai basil was perfect. The prawns were cooked perfectly and the crunch of the skin was amazing. This dish is pretty hard to pass up — a definite must order here.

To end everything, we ordered the coconut ice cream with sticky rice. It was a great neutralizer form all that garlic, shrimp, and spices. The coconut flavor was mild and not too overpowering. My favorite was the sticky rice. Everything just had such a delicate flavor and nothing was overbearing.

Back home in Los Angeles, there are a bunch of Ktown style Chinese restaurants that have pretty good food. From spicy seafood noodles to fried pork and beef dishes, they are all delicious, but you won’t find any of these in China. The menu hasn’t changed ever since the first time I went, and that is the quality of the places. You know what you will get, and its the same no matter when you go. Lotus of Siam is kind of like that. The menu hasn’t changed in forever, and the food, though may not be genuine Thai renditions is delicious.

Lotus of Siam on Urbanspoon

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Palm’s Thai restaurant wasn’t what I expected at all. Their infatuation with Elivs itself is weird to me. No they are not in Thai Town, but yes they are in Hollywood. Maybe the Hollywood in them gives them the urge and need to be a little out there. Hollywood is full of surprises, and this is clearly one of them. A Thai Elvis in Hollywood I guess shouldn’t surprise me, but it does. Aside from the wacky, their food is what is most important. This is a food blog after all.

I ordered the Kee Mau Noodle. It is a rice noodle pan fried in chili, bell peppers, basil leaves, tomato, and beef slices. It is similar to pad see ew but spicier, and in my opinion better. The spicy taste really popped in this dish and the flavors worked perfectly. Pouring some of the vinegary pepper juice from the condiments tray helped cut the greasiness and added some tang. It’s the only way to eat this stuff if you ask me.

I was feeling like curry and rice so I ordered the green curry. I already had the spice from the noodles, so this mellow and sweet curry was perfect to tame the spiciness. Made with coconut milk, the curry was really sweet, maybe too sweet. It had bamboo shoots, bell peppers, basil leaves, and chicken. The best part were the bamboo shoots. They were fresh and crisp and some of the best bamboo shoots I ever had — I’m not even a bamboo shoots loving kind of guy, but these were great. I would have liked less bell peppers and more basil, but this still was a great green curry. The taste is so complex and flavorful. Eating this with rice, I always think to myself that this is all I need to survive.

Palm’s Thai Restaurant was an interesting experience. Coming here late at night, it was fun to be here. I was sad to not have experienced the live performances by Asian Elvis himself, but it was still a fun vibe. The dining area is large and I can only imagine how crazy it gets with a full house with live Elvis music playing. Valet parking is 2 bucks, and is indoors — not bad for Hollywood and a little convenience. All in all, it was a good Thai restaurant — next time, I’m coming for the show.

Palms Thai on Urbanspoon

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Thai Patio – Night Time Chow At Thai Town

by Franklin on December 13, 2011

Where else can you get authentic Thai cuisine other than in Thai Town.  Located near Hollywood, Thai Town in Los Angeles offers some great food.  Thai Patio had some really well prepared Thai food.  Something about the spices in Thai food keeps me wanting more.  This restaurant does it perfectly.  The live music and open dining area is very inviting.  Those in seek of a hip night life and good Thai food can appreciate this place.

We ordered the crab fried rice.  I am absolutely in love with crab fried rice, especially this one restuarant near CSUF. Thai Patio’s, though good wasn’t as good as the one in Fullerton.   It wasn’t seafood like enough for me.

Though the crab fried rice was just normal, the grilled beef was amazing.  The taste was like no other.  It was a bit sweet and so very tender.  At first, I thought it would be on the tough side.  However they prepared it, it was a perfect texture. I liked the bbq marks that was on the beef.  It gave it a nice char flavor.  and whatever spices they use on these, it was delicious.

Their chicken Pad see Ew was by far my favorite.  It is quite possible that they have the best.  The noodles were thick and chewy — al dente. It wasn’t mushy at all.  The sauce and fresh vegetables brought the whole dish together.  Definately, the texture of the noodles is what makes this dish.  If I didn’t know any better, I’d think they made their noodles in house from scratch.

Thai Patio was authentic.  Maybe it was all in the name, or the fact that it was in Thai Town.  All of the food in Koreatown isn’t always good, so it can’t be the location.  It must be the food.  Everything was delicious, and they give you a lot of it. Asking for to go boxes is a must after your meal, because you will have left overs.  Next time, I would like to try more of the exotic (heavily spiced) dishes.

Thai Patio on Urbanspoon

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