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Thai cuisine is a controversial topic among poker players. Everyone has a strong opinion on which place is the best and I often hear conversations about it at the tables. So let me deal with the matter in a way that will not evoke any disagreement or controversy. I introduce you…
Fox’s final say on Thai food in Vegas
This list is not only well researched, but non-negotiable and exhausting… er… exhaustive. Yeah, that’s the word. Either way means I’ve put a lot of work into it and covered it all. Anyway, let’s just list the top six. This will make it easier for you to tell me which numbers I got wrong and why.
# 6 – Thai spice
If I were to rank these restaurants purely by their value, Thai Spice might be the winner. It’s cheap, hardly crowded, and the food is solid. My wife says they have the best pad thai in town. While their panang curry doesn’t quite compare to the top spots on this list, it’s very good and the war wonton soup is the best I’ve ever had. I once ran into Jared ‘WacoKid’ Hamby at Thai Spice and we agreed on War Wonton Soup as the best in town.
You’ll eat for $ 15, it won’t be crowded and it’s a short drive to the Rio. It’s hard to ask for more than that. Not a fancy place to impress on a date, but quick, cheap, and solid.
# 5 – Nittaya’s secret kitchen
It’s no longer much of a secret, Nittaya’s is solid Thai food. It’s not very cheap, and I wouldn’t compare the food to the more expensive places on this list, but it’s a good compromise. And with multiple locations around the city, there’s likely one nearby. They also have a solid bar and very interesting food and drinks that other places don’t have. A good place for a casual second date.
# 4 – Thai
Thai is a real bargain if you only order one starter. The entrees are expensive, but also unnecessary as the entrees are large and all fantastic. A newly opened second location primarily offers take-out west of the Rancho Plaza Arts District, but the primary location is on Fremont Street, just one block south of the Slotzilla Zipline. If I’m on Fremont Street and don’t fancy Nachos and Tequila at Nacho Daddy’s, I head to Le Thai.
Short-rib fried rice, tricolor curry, and pad see sheep are all highly recommended. After dessert, you can head to the Griffin just down the street for a drink, then take a leisurely stroll down Fremont Street to see naked people you wish you weren’t, and hear a terrible saxophone solo at the back of a truck. The high of spicy Thai food and a drink or two will make sure you have a great time either way.
# 3 – Lamaii
The former Lotus of Siam sommelier left a few years ago to stand on his own feet in the old Chiada restaurants. They had a duck curry dish which was one of the best Thai food I have ever had, and I mourn their passing every day. But now he’s back, joined by an accomplished mixologist with Michelin star experience, to create Lamaii.
The only reason Lamaii isn’t higher on this list is that I’ve only been there once. The food was spectacular, the wine list is amazing and the cocktails are perfect. Once I find time to come back, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Lamaii at or near the top of this list. Lamaii isn’t cheap – you’ll spend at least $ 20 for an entree alone – but it’s well worth it. The crispy duck curry is just as good as in Chiada, and you’ll find traditional Thai dishes here that you won’t find anywhere else in Vegas.
Located in Chinatown, a short drive to the Rio at Spring Mountain and Arville.
# 2 – Archi
While Archi might not be as chic as Lamaii or Lotus, they rank high on this list because of the remarkable value they offer. The food is fantastic, the service is quick and the prices are very reasonable. Just a few nights ago a meal for two was only $ 30 and the curry was awesome. My wife Jordan ranks it as the second best Pad Thai in town after Thai Spice.
Archi’s has multiple locations, and unless it’s a generally busy time like dinner on a weekend, you probably won’t need reservations. The best egg rolls in town and a great bar as well. Casual enough to make you feel comfortable in shorts and a t-shirt. These are cool places, but maybe not for a first date – a bit laid back for that. The food, however, will damn impress near anyone.
# 1 – Lotus of Siam
I could write an entire article about the institution that most local poker players simply call “Lotus”. They have been serving the highest quality food from northern Thailand for over two decades and every meal I have had there has been awesome. The service, the wine list, the cocktails, the food, the setting, everything is perfect. A great place to make a date, a great place to impress a potential business client, Lotus is even a great place to go on your own and pile spicy curry on your face until you’re too full to move. and too high in capsaicin to worry about. .
The extensive menu has so many winners that it’s hard to even pick one. Just order what sounds good, and you can be sure they will bring you a steaming plate of sweet and spicy joy. It won’t be cheap; such good food in a steakhouse or fine dining restaurant would cost at least twice as much. It’s part of the joy of Thai, especially in Vegas. You can have a world class meal for $ 30, which will barely earn you a burger and a beer on the Strip.
I urge you to try the many other great places on this list, but when you need a guaranteed winner, Lotus is the bonkers. Be careful, you will need reservations. This place is no secret to locals, and every poker pros in town for the WSOP is already familiar with it and has dinner reservations. One location is temporarily closed, but the original restaurant on Flamingo is still open and is a very short drive from the Rio.
So much great Thai food in Vegas
There are so many great food in Vegas that I will never get a chance to taste it all. I also hear good things about Weera, Arrawan, and Komol, with Komol reigning as a favorite among my vegan and vegetarian friends. If your favorite Thai spot isn’t mentioned here let me know on Twitter @foxpokerfox and I’ll make sure I get there. I’m still looking for an excuse to try a new Thai spot.