Lotus of Siam
953 E Sahara Ave
Las Vegas, NV 89104
After a long hot day in Vegas, the last thing I wanted to do was gamble or party. I just wanted some amazing food in my hotel room, a good book in hand (in this case, Kitchen Confidential), and some mindless TV program buzzing in the background (I don’t have cable in NYC so I tried to have the TV on constantly while soaking up all the other amenities of the Wynn). Multiple people had suggested Lotus of Siam to me and though I was skeptical of finding good Thai food in the desert, I reminded myself that I had found amazing fresh sushi in the desert so anything is possible.
I was excited to find a much more extensive menu than typical Thai places in NYC. They had Northern Thai dishes, which I had never had before, meaning I would definitely try. Both photos above are of the Khao Soi ($9.95), a coconut based red curry egg noodle dish with Burmese influences. The noodles are garnished with deep-fried noodles, sliced red onion, lime, and pickled vegetables. The curry was buuuuuuursting with flavor and very rich, unlike all the watered down curries I’ve had everywhere else in the US. Every ingredient added another layer of complexity… Continue reading Lotus of Siam, best Thai food I’ve had in the US.
Hot ‘n Juicy Crawfish
4810 Spring Mountain Rd
Ste C & D
Las Vegas, NV 89102
I realized I had never had crawfish before and was excited to hear about this place from multiple friends. It fit under my criteria of “uniquely Vegas,” “delicious,” and “not too expensive.” It’s right at the edge of Chinatown so you’ll need a car or cab to get to it.
The crowd seemed very local. Everyone had their sleeves rolled up, plastic bib tied on, and was smackin’ their lips and lickin’ their fingers. We ordered a pound of crawfish and a pound of shrimp, both in the Hot ‘n Juicy special sauce (you have other choices such as lemon pepper and juicy cajun).
The crawfish ($10) is steamed with a large amount of super tasty and spicy sauce. Looking back, I wish I ordered some rice or rolls on the side so I could have soaked up the sauce. We had ordered sweet potato fries for our carb instead. Though the fries were good, soft on the inside and crisp on the outside, sweet potato didn’t go quite well with the seafood and sauce. I needed something more bland. The crawfish tasted very fresh and sweet but crawfish is just a bit too small… each one has meat about the size of a gum ball and takes quite a bit of breaking and peeling. It was far too much work for too little reward. We asked them to add two corns in the bag as well. The corn was hot and sweet and tasted amazing with the sauce. Continue reading Hot ‘n Juicy Crawfish
Palace Station Hotel & Casino
2418 W Sahara Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89102
Dinner #1 in Vegas! So in my search for something delicious and uniquely Vegas (as in one where they don’t have a sister restaurant in NYC… almost all the good ones do!), I found Oyster Bar, a restaurant tucked in the back of the Palace Station Hotel & Casino. I had never been to Palace Station nor heard of it so did not know what to expect… Palace sounds grandiose enough and the restaurant is rated so ridiculously well everywhere that in my mind, I pictured somewhat of a decent looking place. I was very wrong. The Palace Station is a smokey, dingy casino filled with unattractive drunks. I was very skeptical that we had been taken to the right place… until I stumbled upon a huge line starting at… some bar.
The Oyster Bar is literally, a bar. It is TINY. Fits about 15 people around the bar and is right next to the slot machines. It was about 10:00pm when we got there and we did not order until 11:30. Craziness! What could all the fuss be about…
They specialize in southern seafood dishes like Gumbo, Pan Roasts, and Chowders. They have a really neat cooking machine (see bottom left and right) where they cook each dish to order (very impressive and unexpected for dishes like gumbo) in these attached metal bowls that heat up very quickly and swing down to speed the serving process. By the time we got to sit down and order, I was miserably hungry. And I really do mean miserable. Continue reading Gumbo Hidden in the back of a Dirty Casino
I’m in Vegas! And staying at the beautiful Wynn. Too bad I’m not here to gamble or party because the Wynn has such a great casino and club. I’m here because I’m piggybacking on LAW’s business trip. We decided to come a little early and do a Grand Canyon/Zion/Bryce National Park adventure. As much as I like fancy hotels, fake boobs, orange skin, and losing money, I left my concrete jungle for a breath of fresh air (which does not really exist in Vegas because you’re allowed to SMOKE in the casinos?!).
Here is a picture I took at the top of Angels Landing, a gigantic rock formation in Zion. The Angels Landing hike was the most beautiful and exhilarating hike ever. Imagine walking on a two foot wide path… with a cliff on either side of you. Now imagine the path as a natural, unpaved, slanted rocky path. That was the last 0.5 miles of our hike. It. Was. Amazing. We drove from Vegas to Zion. Hiked all day. Stayed at some nearby small motel. Got up super early and did another hike in Zion. Drove to Bryce. Hiked the two major hikes in Bryce. Drove to the Grand Canyon. Did the major lookout and small hike. And drove back to Vegas. It was a crazy adventurous 2-day journey! I’m so glad we did it.
Now I’m back in Vegas. Before coming, I did all my research on places to eat and found it annoying that most of the great restaurants have their counterparts in NYC. I want something uniquely Vegas! There are only a few places with food I felt I could not find in NYC which I will try in the next few days, and will blog about soon. But today, I went to Bouchon Bakery at the Venetian for breakfast because it is the closest yummy pastry place around me. Even though NYC has … two Bouchons. Oh well. It is 113 degrees today and I definitely do not want to do any trekking. I ordered a cappuccino and was sipping it on my walk back to the Wynn. The coffee actually got hotter and hotter as I walked. Ridiculous. Continue reading Bouchon in Vegas