Las Vegas: What to Order at Lotus of Siam, One of the Best Thai Restaurants in America

Nam-Prik-Ong (Red Chili Dip)

This dish off the Northern Thai menu is mild, flavorful, and suitable for even Thai food newbies. "Tastes somewhat similar to tomato sauce," says the menu, but we find it closer in nature to a tomato chutney. The crudité accompaniments include a few crunchy pork rinds thrown in. A great way to start a meal with friends.

You don't have to be a food insider in Las Vegas to know about Lotus of Siam. Despite its unlikely location in a non-descript strip mall, the outstanding and authentic food at Lotus of Siam has garnered attention from countless national media outlets, including the title of Best Thai Restaurant in the United States from the late Gourmet magazine.

So the question isn't whether to go—you should (run, don't walk)—it's what to eat when you get there. With a menu of over 150 choices ranging from classic curries and noodle dishes to Northern Thai specialties and signature Lotus creations, there is no way to eat more than a small fraction of what sounds good in a single visit. If you're a Vegas local, this is easily solved with repeat visits.

Nam Kao Tod (Crispy Rice with Sausage)

What to Know Before You Go

  • Dinner reservations are highly recommended. At peak times, waits can be up to two hours, so it is worthwhile to call at least a day in advance.
  • The menu is long and varied, and it's valuable to look at each section, including the Northern Thai and Chef's Choice menus, which follows the dessert menus and might go unnoticed.
  • You get to pick a spice level on most dishes; the range is one to ten, and the higher end of the scale is serious business. I know people who order at level ten (and beyond), but I also know people who sweat at a three. Order at your own risk, because the food is so good that even if it has your nose sweating and your esophagus aflame, you will remain determined to eat it.

If you're staring at the menu and find yourself stumped, here's a tutorial on what you must order at Lotus of Siam »