A few days ago, Chowhound QAW and I were lucky enough to sample a dozen dishes from Chada Thai, owned by former Lotus of siam manager/wine guru, Bank. It looks like John Curtas was served the almost the exact same meal the next day, and his impressions were very similar to mine: http://www.eatinglv.com/2012/09/chada...
As QAW observed, this food is tailor-made for drinking, either a Riesling or beer. The food is intense and varied. I think it was extremely smart for Bank to put an emphasis on Southern Thai cuisine, not just to avoid comparisons with LOS, but because Southern dishes are hard to find in Las Vegas, and much of it is quite different from Bangkok and Northern Thai food.
My single favorite taste was the heart in the lo-ba (a mixed grill of pork offal, which includes tongue and pig's ear), but the black pepper pork belly was a close second. The whole tilapia and the eggplant salad were also spectacular (don't miss Curtas's slide show).
A few attractions of Chada that Curtas doesn't mention:
1. Chada will be open from 5:00 p.m. until 3:00 a.m. Now there is an alternative to Raku for spectacular, classy food late-night.
2. Chada is family run, including Bank's brother, Jakrapan, the gentle giant who was such a fine waiter at LOS, is "doing a little bit of everything" at Chada, along with Bank's father and significant other in the kitchen.
3. Servings and prices are relatively small. Two or there dishes per person will be more than enough. Just a guess, but I figure $20-30 would be the average check for food (and Chada will be BYOB until the liquor license is granted).
4. In general, there is a tendency to use fatty or rich proteins with light and piquant sauces. It's a winning combination.
I'm always wary of evaluating a restaurant before it opens, but I have little doubt that if the kitchen can produce dishes like we enjoyed, Chada is going to be a hot place sooner rather than later, and deservedly so. Bank is figuring on a no-reservations policy for now. I wish I could be in town for the opening, but hope to visit ASAP.
Chada Thai is located at 3400 Jones, just north of Spring Mountain (in the same mall as China Mama).
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