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Lotus of Siam -- yes, it's all that (long)

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Lotus of Siam -- yes, it's all that (long)

yumyum | Jan 22, 2006 02:19 PM

I finally had a chance to visit LOS while in Vegas last week for work. I was desperate to get off the strip for our one free dinner out and had heard such great things about this place I suggested it to the team. We had a lovely meal with some of the most gracious service I've ever had, all for $35 a head.

When we were seated, our friendly server (no idea if he was in charge, although he did comp us a lot, so he might have been) greeted us and heard me telling the rest of the table of the dishes I'd heard about. He rightly guessed that he should plan the menu and wine with me and so we proceeded to talk appetizers. I inquired if the sour sausage was better as an app or as a main and he offerd that Nom Kao Tod (sour sausage salad) was the best starter to choose. I love fish cakes and so ordered them as well. He asked what we might like to drink and I dilly-dallied over the wine list. He stepped away for a minute and returned with a taste of reisling and assured me it goes well with the spicy food. I don't care for sweet wines but this was delicious (can't remember the name of it but it had a pale blue label ... anyone know?) and we ordered a bottle.

When it came to ordering the mains, we had a few challenges ... one of us was pregnant and didn't want VERY spicy, I had my eye on several choices but really didn't want to push my dining companions around too much, and the other two diners were ambivalent. Our server came over to consult with me and together we chose 4 mains -- that night's seabass special over thai veg and noodles, a green chicken curry (ordered mild) a chargrilled beef with tamarind dressing and as a special request, a cold beef salad (one of my favorite dishes at home). In retrospect we shouldn't have had 2 beef dishes but they were both delicious. We ordered everything a 5 on the 1-10 scale and it was very hot. I'm not a heat-freak and I was a little worried about my dining companions, but the food was so delicious, everyone ate thru the heat and enjoyed every morsel. Next time I'd order a 4 and supplement with the condiments at the table.

All of the dishes were great but the highlight must have been the sausage starter -- minced sausage with green onion, chili, ginger, peanuts, crispy rice and lime juice. The rice was toasted like rice crispies and the rest of the elements combined into a mouth-sensation I love in the most complex thai salads ... cool, crispy, sour, spicy, crunchy. Both beef preparations were very good if too similar and the green curry surprised me. Round eggplants and a pale green coconut gravy with chicken was soothing and definitely not the throwaway item I had envisioned. We were stuffed but I insisted on sticky rice with mango for dessert -- ordered with 4 spoons to share but when the plate showed up our server had added banana fritters, coconut ice cream and something resembling ABC with corn and such. It was a very nice surprise to get the dessert sampler and we finished the plate -- of course the mango with sticky rice was the fave. Midway through dessert, our server once again surprised us with small glasses of Muscat -- a slightly sparkling perfumy apricotty sweet dessert wine which refreshed the palate and was just the last of the delightful treats we had enjoyed.

Lotus of Siam is truly great. I am only sad I can't get there more than once a year. I would love to work my way through the menu, suggestion by suggestion. The thoughtful service was as remarkable as the food and usually I'm all about the food. I haven't had such a great meal in a long long time.

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