Thai Me Up: The Top 5 Thai Restaurants in Las Vegas

I have a love-hate relationship with Thai food. I love the idea of hot, but I can’t do it. I love the idea of pad Thai, but every time I order it I’m disappointed. So I’ve had to teach myself not to order something on fire and not to ever order pad Thai since there are so many other delicious choices on a good Thai menu. And while I’m the farthest thing from a vegetarian, I love the veggie choices for my friends. With that, I’ll get off my soapbox and introduce you to the top 5 Thai restaurants in Las Vegas because this city has some dandies.

Lotus of Siam
Ten years ago, Jonathan Gold of Gourmet Magazine called Lotus of Siam, “The single best Thai restaurant in North America.” Do you argue with that assessment? No, no you don’t. Chef Saipin Chutima keeps cooking up her Northern Thai specialties such as braised short rib panang, a vermicelli in curry sauce, pork stew, nam kao tod (a minced sour sausage appetizer that you have to have) and a green chili dip that should come with its own fire extinguisher. And since it’s Northern Thai, nary a pad Thai will be found on the menu (and don’t insult the chef by requesting it). Pair your dinner with a bottle from the extensive collection of Gewürztraminers for that beautiful sensation of sweet and hot. And take care when ordering on a heat scale of 1 to 10. I ordered a 2 and thought I was going to cry.

Lotus of Siam is located at 953 E. Sahara Ave., 702.735.3033,
MOzen Bistro
This all-day cafe has quickly become one of my favorite places to dine, mainly because you can find an assortment of Pan-Asian dishes, each cooked perfectly. Chef Shawn Armstrong spent the better part of a decade in India and Asia cooking for Mandarin Oriental before opening this outpost here in Vegas. The menu features Chinese, Japanese, Indian and the only place on the Strip offering up Thai done quite well at that. Chef Vivek Rawat puts together what one friend calls one of the best Thai beef salads in town. You can find a delicate Thai green curry with your choice of chicken or prawns, a hint of coconut, Siamese eggplant and sweet basil or the pad Thai noodles in a sweet chili sauce with shrimp, peanuts, green onions and sprouts. Yes, I liked the pad Thai. Delish.

MOzen Bistro is located at Mandarin Oriental at CityCenter, 1.888.881.9367,

Pin Kaow Restaurant
I’m lucky. This spot is right down the street from me, so when I want some Thai on a whim, I can just drive down for curries and satays. Now the owners have three locations across the valley to satisfy your Thai tooth. Just put it on your regular rotation of dining spots.

Pin Kaow is located at 1974 N. Rainbow Blvd., 702.638.2746; 7835 S. Rainbow Blvd., 702.614.4805; and 9530 S. Eastern Ave., Suite 100, Henderson, 702.407.1188;

Thai Style Noodle House
You can probably throw a rock and find an awesome Thai restaurant in Vegas’ Chinatown, but our sources say Thai Style Noodle House is the one to check out first. Try the Chu-Che Salmon with a panang sauce on the thick side. They’re happy to help out the vegetarians and vegans who order off the menu. Consider it the dive bar of the list at these prices.

Thai Style Noodle House, 3516 Wynn Road, 702.873.8943, and 5135 S. Fort Apache Ave., 702.823.2882,

Nittaya’s Secret Kitchen
Now I have a problem. Nittaya’s Secret Kitchen just opened near me, and the Thai food here is amazing. Try the spicy green bean pork tenderloin in a curry paste sauce or the crying tiger steak in a barbecue hot sauce. It’s a cute little place that looks nothing like a Thai restaurant.

Nittaya’s Secret Kitchen, 2110 N. Rampart Ave., 702.360.8885,