Las Vegas, Nevada October 2007

I spent 3 days in Las Vegas at the end of October. Like everything in Vegas, eating is BIG. There are so many “celebrity” restaurants there now, it would be impossible to try them all, not that anyone would want to. From what I could tell, most of them are big, loud, impersonal and very expensive.

I ended up trying two “local” restaurants, one for dinner and one for breakfast.

“Lotus of Siam”, was named by Gourmet Magazine as one of the best Thai restaurants in North America. From its location you would never know it. It is a few miles off the Vegas strip, in strip mall, wedged between a “massage” parlor and a wig shop. The food was excellent, inexpensive and the service was good, except for the “hot” rating, which ranged from 1 to 10, with 10 being the hottest. What the waiter didn’t tell was that dishes containing fresh chili peppers are 5 degrees hotter than those with dried peppers. So, a 5 fresh dish was about a 10 with dried spices. I started with TOD MUN PLAR – One of Bangkok most favorite appetizers; deep fried fish-cake mixed with curry paste, served with cucumber salad with chopped peanut. Next, I had SQUID SPICY SALAD with onion and lettuce mixed with lime juice served on bed of green. This was great dish with lots of lime and cilantro. Take a look at the green,red and orange peppers. I ordered mine #5 spicy. My friend Jose ordered his #7 so the chili peppers were crushed and scattered throughout his dish- that way he could enjoy the heat with each bite. I finished the meal with PAD THAI. According to the menu, this “Could have been the most popular stir fried classic Thai small rice noodle of all time. This dish stir fried with chicken, egg, green onion, bean sprouts. (Chopped peanut upon request.)”. I requested the peanuts. One note, Karl, Jose’s colleague, ordered some kind of seafood, cabbage dish steamed in foil. It sounded interesting but it was over cooked and had a “burnt” taste.

I also tried the Peppermill Fireside Lounge on the Vegas strip for breakfast. Open 24 hours a day, this is a Las Vegas institution. Like every thing here, breakfast is big – as you can see from the eggs and turkey sausage I ordered. Even the coffee cup was big.

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