Three months and it’s been hard — very hard — to be without the beloved, renowned Lotus of Siam. After 19 years, its original restaurant location at East Sahara Avenue was forced to close Sept. 8 due to roof damage caused by heavy rain. As bad as that news was for the business then has become very good news today. The longtime restaurant will reopen in later 2018 in its original location.
A second site, already open on East Flamingo Road, has been met with great fanfare. Chef-owner Saipin Chutima and her family’s new baby is double the size of the much loved original location at 17,000-square-foot.
Lotus of Siam always has been about true Thai home-cooked authenticity, and nothing is expected to change at this recent addition. The award-winning wine list keeps oenophiles satisfied, too, with German riesling options that pair perfectly with the chef’s Northern Thai cuisine.
The new location is very different, however, when it comes to decor. Manager Penny Chutima, the chef’s daughter, has done an exemplary job in the build-out. The contemporary spot features authentic Thai art throughout the restaurant. The bar and lounge area is comfortable and makes you feel like you are in “the land of smiles” with its blinds featuring scenes from the countryside.
Chef Chutima is working out of the current restaurant until the original location is ready to reopen. Not to worry, though, she continues to make her complicated, flavor-layered sauces, which will remain a staple at both locations.
The Chutima family is a true American success story. Siapin and Bill Chutima opened Lotus of Siam in Las Vegas in 1999. It featured Northern Thai cuisine, which is punctuated with aromatic herbs and spices, along with savory stews and soulful curries. The recipes had been passed down for generations.
In 2011, the chef’s hard work and authentic cuisine paid off when she was awarded the James Beard Award for best chef in the Southwest.
Today, we all can breathe easier knowing we once again can enjoy her khao soi (crispy duck) and very tasty garlic prawns. Not to mention, of course, indulge in a wine list that features many of the best riesling in the world.