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Taste the 'Best Thai Food in America' at Lotus of Siam

Where: 953 East Sahara Avenue [map], 89104
May 6, 2009 at 11:45 AM | by | ()

In the dilapidated Commercial Center strip mall a few blocks east of the Strip on Sahara Avenue, you can find a seedy pool hall, the infamous Green Door swingers’ club and myriad dive-y looking ethnic restaurants, including one called Lotus of Siam.

Lotus is a Chowhound darling, and has earned an almost preposterous number of accolades, including the designation of "single best Thai restaurant in North America" by Gourmet magazine several years back.

Whether that can possibly be true is not something we can verify, but we do know that Lotus is jam packed for dinner every night of the week.

Praise-winning, northern Thai dishes include northern-style pork sausage and Spicy Young Jack Fruit Curry. Distinctive items available off the regular menu include Issan-style beef jerky, various preparations of deep-fried catfish and En Tuan – a spicy and sour soup with beef tendon, beef and bean sprouts.

Of course, more familiar items like all kinds of curries, salads, soups, and various Thai noodle dishes (we love everythingabout Drunken Noodle Seafood) are available, too. Lotus has a respectable, Riesling-laden wine list to complement its spicy fare, and not much ambiance at all. But trust us – it doesn’t matter. Your senses of taste and smell will render all the others moot anyway.

Reservations are required for dinner if you want to ensure you get seated, but aren’t available at lunch. The noon crowd is usually thick, too, drawn by the ample and quickly replenished buffet. Lotus purists can order of the menu at lunchtime instead, if they prefer.

Oh, and it’s dirt cheap. Prices start at $3.95 for soup and max out at $20.95 for the most expensive entrée (spicy barbecued prawns in tamarind sauce). No wonder Vegas foodies are so smitten.

[Photo: Jen SFO-BCN/Jennifer Woodard Maderazo]

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