Last weekend I had the pleasure of dining at a GREAT Thai restaurant in Las Vegas...Lotus of Siam...
Among the accolades for Lotus was that it was "on a par with Sriraphai", which of course is pretty high praise.
As my ex is a great lady from Thailand, not bragging I'm an expert on the cuisine....Sriraphai has withstood the challenge.
The strength of Lotus is it's regional emphasis on "Issan" or northern Thai regional dishes. Probably one of the few restaurants with such emphasis ALSO they just have an awesome lineup of German and ALsatian wines to accompany the food.
But, while Sriraphai's food offerings are incredibly consistent at a high quality level, I found Lotus to be uneven. Not surprisingly, the un-eveness was in their non-Issan dishes. The Issan offerings were fantastic and when we dine there again (which we will definitely do), we'll go with Issan Only AND we won't fall for that "how spicy you want it" question which of course is a giveaway that they will "americanize" the meal. THe answer to that question should always be "I want it authentically spiced, DON'T hold back anything".
On related matter, next time at Sriraphai, try bringing a bottle of any high grade 2001 Alsatian...Gewurztraminer or a mixed vineyard offering...we brought a Gewurz Grand Cru from Albert Mann that was out of this world AND the delightful staff at Lotus gave us 3 tasting flights of different wines from Germany and Alsace, all fantastic.
At this point, I'm comfortable placing Sriraphai on a par with the great Thai restaurants of Chicago, and honestly believe it's one of the Top Ten Thai Restaurants in the country!