Vegas Seven

Lotus of Siam

  • Features

    American Mosaic

    By Zoneil Maharaj

    Many nations, one home. These are the people who make up Las Vegas.

  • Scene Stirs

    Seven reasons to raise up a glass … of holiday cheer

    By Xania V. Woodman

    1. Spotted! A bottle of Casa Dragones tequila behind the bar in the Cosmopolitan’s sexy new Talon Club. Bartender Adina Artstein will happily mix it into a cocktail for you but really this joven-style tequila is best appreciated neat or perhaps with a little ice. While you’re there, check out the self-serve whiskey bar. $45 glass, CasaDragones.com.

  • Nam Kao Tod, at Lotus of Siam

    By Max Jacobson

    By now, even people in Tonopah know that Lotus is the most famous Thai restaurant in the United States. Saipin Chutima, the genius in the kitchen, is probably best known for her crispy rice salad, nam kao tod, arguably the best finger food dish on earth. It has bits of Thai sausage, roasted peanuts, lemon grass and amazingly crisp rice, plus a hint of hot chili. Kellogg’s couldn’t have imagined.

  • Diner's Notebook

    Beard hardware, pumped-up brunch and Señor Frog’s takes a leap

    By Max Jacobson

    The James Beard Awards have been announced for 2011, and Saipin Chutima of Lotus of Siam has been honored with Best Chef in the Southwest, tied with Tyson Cole of Uchi, in Austin, Texas. Chutima opened a Lotus of Siam in New York City last fall, and in my opinion, that’s what put her over the top for one of these New York-centric awards.

  • Neighborhood Epicurean

    A Universal Center

    By Michael T. Toole

    Poor Commercial Center. It just doesn’t get the right kind of love or respect sometimes. For every shattered beer bottle, discarded razor wire and off-kilter philosopher living out of a shopping cart on the premise, there are winning attributes to counter it all. For one, how about giving it props for sticking around for nearly half-century in a city where commercial longevity is considered a strange bedfellow? Or how about enjoying the bristling, ornate diversity of its offerings south and west of East Sahara Avenue and South Maryland Parkway?

  • Diner's Notebook

    Beard winners, Sedona revised and high-tech ice cream

    By Max Jacobson

    Kudos to Vegas’ 2011 James Beard Award semifinalists Saipin Chutima of Lotus of Siam and Mitsuo Endo of Raku (both for Best Chef Southwest), Picasso for Outstanding Restaurant, and its sommelier Robert Smith for Outstanding Wine Service, and finally China Poblano for Best New Restaurant. There were a few glaring omissions, though.

  • Diner's Notebook

    Ch-ch-ch-changes, sustainability, and Vegas Uncorked

    By Max Jacobson

    In what comes as a bit of a surprise, Bill and Saipin Chutima, the owners of Lotus of Siam (953 E. Sahara Ave., Suite A5), have pulled out of their partnership with the entrepreneur who opened a second Lotus in New York City. Citing aesthetic differences and health reasons, the family will resume devoting their full-time energies to their Las Vegas outpost. The Apple, let’s face it, is a tough mistress.

  • Dining

    The Scoop on Rice

    By Max Jacobson

    Rice is the world’s most versatile and widely consumed grain, with more than 40,000 varietals. There are many ways to eat rice in Las Vegas, at a number of ethnic and upscale restaurants. Here are seven of my favorite dishes to throw into your routine:

  • Dishing With Grace

    Nam Kao Tod at Lotus of Siam

    The magic of cooking is the ability to transform something simple, such as rice, peanuts and sausage, into something unforgettable. And that’s exactly what the Thai chef Saipin Chutima has done at her recently expanded Commercial Center restaurant. This crispy salad might be the world’s greatest finger food. Eaten in the hollow of a cabbage leaf, accompanied by a cold one, it’s at the very least the world’s greatest beer snack. $7.95, 953 E. Sahara Ave., 735-3033,saipinchutima.com.

  • Dining

    Revisiting the Lotus

    By Max Jacobson

    Ever since Gourmet magazine’s Jonathan Gold singled out Lotus of Siam as “the best Thai restaurant in America” in August 2000, locals and tourists have been lining up in the drab Commercial Center parking lot for Saipin Chutima’s chicken wings, crispy rice salad and homemade Thai sausage. During this time, her husband, Bill, has been amassing a German and Austrian wine list said to rival any in the country. The acidity and sweetness of the riesling and gewürztraminer grapes match perfectly with Thai cooking.