Le Thai Las Vegas
My husband is a retired USAF physician and we have lived in multiple states and countries during his 26 year tenure. We have lived in many different environments-rural, sleepy towns to bustling, thriving cities. I am a city girl at heart so our move to Las Vegas was more akin to a Thank You Jesus! move for me. I love, love, love that I can go to live musical shows and talks at the lovely art deco inspired Smith Center for The Performing Arts here in Las Vegas. In fact, my book club and I did just that in November. We went to hear David Sedaris read from his latest work and decided to combine it with a dinner outing. We went to Le Thai Las Vegas which is located downtown. Downtown Las Vegas has gone through a much needed rejuvenation thanks to Tony Hsieh and Zappos. They have slowly transformed it into a trendy and safe destination where locals usually hang out and party. Le Thai is right smack in the middle of this burgeoning growth and energy and that is one of the many charms of this restaurant. Huge windows line the outside wall of a very compact space. There is additional seating in a semi-enclosed adjoining area which works well in Las Vegas because of our mild weather. It was chilly when we were there but the outdoor heaters kept us toasty. Reservations are a must especially for larger groups. Location It is located on Freemont Street just a block away from the start of the downtown Freemont Street Experience. There is plenty of street parking but you may have to walk a few blocks to find a spot and they also offer valet service. Have I mentioned that valet service is FREE at almost all Las Vegas establishments? I love it that you can valet almost everywhere here-the mall, grocery store, hospital, airport, and of course hotels and restaurants. You tip the attendant when you pick up your car. It is always great to have a valet option especially when I am driving by myself. Main Entrees 3 Color Curry with Chicken This is the house specialty and a blend of the red, yellow and green curry. It was a sweet coconut curry-smooth and well harmonized with a pleasant lingering taste and aroma of lemongrass. Green Curry with Chicken This curry gets it’s coloring from the green Thai chilies and it’s distinct taste from the basil. Bamboo shoots, bell peppers and zucchinis are the main vegetables that round up this robust curry. Chicken Pad Thai Rice noodles stir fried with eggs, green onions, bean sprouts and cilantro says the short description on the menu but this is so much more. Pad Thai is what most people mention when you bring up Thai cuisine so a good Thai restaurant must have a good if not great Pad Thai and Le Thai’s does not disappoint. The strong and pungent flavor from the fish sauce is deftly tamed here by the skillful addition of lime juice and sugar. The careful balance of sweet and tangy in this dish is truly excellent. Pad See Ewe I have mentioned before that this is the gold standard by which I review Thai restaurants mostly because I am so crazy for this dish. Flat rice noodles are stir fried with eggs and Chinese broccoli in a sweet soy sauce. This though was a tad salty and had a residual burnt taste. Mixed Vegetables Stir Fried with Tofu A good combination of varied vegetables which included Chinese and American broccoli, mushrooms, onion, carrots and zucchini was nicely stir fried with firm tofu. Overall Review I like it that Le Thai Las Vegas has a small menu which concentrates on the most basic and frankly the best of Thai cuisine. The food is fresh, well prepared and made to order so you can vary the spiciness to your liking or maybe tolerance. All the entrees are less than $15 and they also serve some fun cocktails. The service was excellent and the waitress was attentive and helpful with information and suggestions. The ambiance is terrific. I love the vibe and energy here and almost all the downtown restaurants. It is cool, trendy, funky,stylin’, hip and hipsterish-everything that you could desire from the snazzy and changing urban landscape which is downtown Las Vegas. So the next time you’re in town and are looking for a place to hang out, come to downtown Las Vegas-it’s where all the cool locals are chillaxing! By the way: I got to meet David Sedaris and he kindly signed a copy of his book for me and yes, he is just as charming in real life as he is in his writings! My husband is a retired USAF physician and we have lived in multiple states and countries during his 26 year tenure. We have lived in many different environments-rural, sleepy towns to bustling, thriving cities. I am a city girl at heart so our move to Las Vegas was more akin to a… Le Thai Las Vegas Le Thai Las Vegas 2015-01-08 Lila Asnani Lila's Review Service Flavor Price Cleanliness 74 Good food, good value and great ambiance. User Rating: No Ratings Yet ! 74
Easy Sticky Rice with Mango Sauce
Coconut sticky rice with mango is the quintessential dessert that almost all of us have at one time or another ordered at Thai restaurants. It is a must when we dine out as a family because my younger daughter; Erin, simply loves it. Erin is a mango head and loves all things mango; mango ice cream, mango mochi, mango lassi, mango candy, dried mango, whole mangoes… You get the drift. We have been known to buy whole crates of mangoes in the summer in order to satisfy this young Missy’s obsession. I know coconut sticky rice is traditionally served with sliced mango but the mango always seems like an afterthought. A supporting star, a garnish almost. I really hate trying to cut through the mango with your spoon, (because they never give you a knife!) when you’re taking a bite of this dessert. The whole thing just seems so unsatisfactory and lacking somewhat. Sure the rice is sweet and delicious but what if you wanted a stronger taste or presence of mango? What if you wanted the mango to be the starlet rather than the second fiddle? This was the impetus of my experiment for this recipe. Erin’s love of mangoes really started me thinking about how I could make mangoes the lead of this traditional duo. I experimented with the recipe several times and came up with the winning combination on the third (!) try. This has been the fastest success to a final product yet! I think Erin was a little disappointed it only took 3 tries because there can never be enough sticky rice with mango sauce as far as she’s concerned. I prepared the sticky rice two ways. One with the traditional coconut sauce and the other with a mango sauce. I had an informal taste tasting at my house and the mango sauce won unanimously. I think you will see why once you try this recipe. All I ask, after you’ve taken in the applause and adoration of your dinner guests of course, is that you mention my website. I purposely set out to make an easy sticky rice with mango sauce recipe because that is the premise of my blog. Easy SEAsian recipes for American kitchens. You will see that I have taken some genius short cuts in this recipe which will save you an immense amount of time and work and probably cause you to never order this dessert in a Thai restaurant again. Why would you when you could make it so much better at home? You, my dear, should be giving the restaurant chef pointers! ;P 4.0 from 1 reviews Print Easy Sticky Rice with Mango Sauce Author: Lila from SEAsiaeats.com Recipe type: Dessert Cuisine: SEAsian Prep time: 1 hour Cook time: 25 mins Total time: 1 hour 25 mins Serves: 4 Quick coconut sticky rice served 2 ways: coconut sauce and mango sauce. This dish should be served at room temperature. Ingredients Rice 11/2 cups sticky rice 13/4 cups water 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk 2 T sugar dash of salt Mango Sauce 2 ripe mangoes cubed or 11/2 cups frozen cubed mangoes 1 cup coconut milk ¼ -1/3 cup sugar -depending on the sweetness of your mangoes 1 t vanilla Optional 2 T toasted sesame seed 2T toasted shredded coconut Extra cubed or sliced mangoes for garnish Instructions Make ahead: Place the sticky rice into a large, microwave-safe bowl. Cover and let soak for 1 hour. Drain the rice and return it to the bowl. Add 13/4 cups of water and cover the bowl either with a plate or plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Uncover and stir the rice. Replace the cover and microwave for another 3 minutes. Stir the rice a second time. Microwave for another 3 minutes until rice is just tender. Let stand, covered for 5 minute. Coconut sauce Heat the coconut milk in a saucepan over med heat. Stir and bring the coconut milk to a slow simmer. Add sugar and dash of salt. Remove from heat. Pour ¾ of the sauce over the hot sticky rice, stirring until combined. Dish out into serving bowls. Use remaining coconut sauce to pour over rice just before serving. Top with toasted sesame seeds for enhanced flavor. Mango Sauce Place cubed mango, coconut milk, vanilla and sugar into a blender. Blend until you have a smooth sauce. Test for sweetness. Transfer sauce into a small saucepan. Heat to a low simmer or until sauce thickens. Remove from heat and pour over dished out coconut sticky rice. Top with toasted coconut. Optional step: Toast sesame seeds and shredded coconut separately in a dry frying pan over med high heat. Stir constantly until seeds or coconut turns light golden brown. 3.2.2925 Recipe was adapted from about.com, foodandwine.com and thaitable.com Sticky rice with coconut sauce Lila’s Tips and Tricks: Mangoes: I tried fresh and frozen and truthfully I found that the frozen mangoes worked best. Slicing whole mangoes takes some skill and ripe mangoes are ideal for this recipe which means you might have to buy ahead and wait for it to ripen. So save yourself some time and frustration and just buy frozen mangoes. I got the frozen mangoes on sale from Target. The 12oz bag of cubed mangoes cost the same as a whole mango from Albertson’s. I also bought some presliced fresh mangoes another time and they were probably the most expensive option. Coconut milk: Purchase it from an Asian grocery store if possible. Seriously, a can of coconut milk from the Asian grocery store sometimes cost 1/2 to 1/3 compared to your local grocery store. Rice: You must use sticky dessert rice which is labelled simply as sticky rice. Regular rice will not work for this recipe. You must presoak the rice otherwise it will just not cook properly. The times for cooking the sticky rice may vary depending on your microwave so please adjust accordingly. Now that you know how inexpensive and easy it is to make coconut sticky rice, do you think you will try this recipe at home? Let me know how your dessert turned out. I love reading comments and I especially love seeing pictures of your finished masterpieces! Sticky rice with mango sauce
Lotus of Siam
Last December, I got to attend the Food, Fight, Write Blogging Conference here in Las Vegas as a blog ambassador for Yummie Nation. I wrote about the FFW conference and Yummie Nation in my inaugural post. I learned so much at the conference, tasted some fantastic food and best of all, met some really, really nice people. I met Gillian Lockitch; a fellow food blogger from Canada, and her daughter Amanda on the first day. I got to show them my favorite part of Las Vegas i.e. Red Rock National Park and being food bloggers, we naturally had to try some local favorites. This is Gillian’s review of the local Thai restaurant in town; Lotus of Siam, which has won multiple James Beard awards and been designated as “The Best Thai restaurant in the US” in 2012 by Gourmet magazine. South east Asian cuisine is everywhere in Vancouver, Canada. Within a 20 minute walk from my home in downtown Vancouver there are at least 26 Restaurants featuring the cuisines of Thailand. Shortly before I ate at Lotus of Siam in las Vegas, a friend and I enjoyed a clear spicy hot and sour Tom Yum soup with kaffir lime leaves, lemon grass and mushrooms, a Thai ostrich satay and crispy wontons deep fried with minced pork and tiger prawns and sweet chili plum sauce, at the Urban Thai Bistro in Vancouver about 5 minutes walk from home. So when my friend Lila, local Las Vegas food blogger who specializes in the varied cuisines of South East Asia invited us to try a restaurant which according to locals, serves up some of the best Thai food in Las Vegas we were delighted. At Lotus of Siam the Northern Thai cuisine features typical stews and curries as well as recipes handed down through several generations of family. Location Main Entrees Tom Yum Soup From the extensive menu we settled on the Tom Yum Kai Soup Hot Pot to start. This hot and sour soup contains chicken and straw mushrooms and is flavoured with lemongrass and lime juice and I loved the subtle flavours. Koong Saron: Prawns in a Blanket Our next course was the Koong Saron or Prawns in a Blanket: large marinated prawns were wrapped with bacon and wonton wraps, deep fried and and served with house-made sweet and sour sauce. Pad Se-Ew The Pad Se-Ew : a stir fry of wide rice noodles with egg and Chinese broccoli and black soy sauce, had options of beef, chicken or pork. We chose sliced beef with this as we had chicken with our soup hotpot. Duck Curry Finally we picked the roasted duck curry with pineapple, grapes, bell peppers and a touch of coconut in a red curry base. We all enjoyed our family-style shared dishes. The service was good and the food reasonably priced. When you visit Vancouver if you love South East Asia cuisines, check-out some of the 26 Thai, 14 Malaysian and 15 Vietnamese restaurants and fast food cafes that are currently serving diners in this city. Gillian Lockitch is the Founder and Principal Writer of www.ReviewFromTheHouse.com – a lifestyle website focusing on food and wine, theatre and the arts, travel blogues and dance cruising.