Lotus of Siam Duck Panang
Travel Tastes

Travel Tastes: Everything Asian In Vegas


Lotus of Siam Duck Panang
Everyone knows Las Vegas. They know the lights, the shows, and the plethora of stories that come from the city. Honestly, my dad always talks about Las Vegas as the great equalizer that can help you relate to anyone and the more and more I go there I truly understand. Everyone has a Vegas story that they love to tell. So naturally with that, here is my latest one :).

It all started out on a Thursday night. My wife and I were able to get off work a little bit early and made our way over to Lovefield over in Dallas to catch out flight out to Las Vegas. The journey proved to be quite treacherous as every single light was fighting against us to make it over to the airport in time to have our beloved airport food. We both share a love of getting to the airport in enough time to one not be consumed by an anxiety of missing our flight and two enjoying the many restaurants in the airport. Margaritas and beer at Cantina Laredo helped to calm the nerves from our red light mayhem and our vacation had officially begun.

In Vegas we were met by my mom and dad, aka the best possible Vegas tour guides. Now they aren’t Vegas locals being from San Antonio but i honestly would put their knowledge up there with many locals. After my dad’s first trip to Vegas when I was younger, I spent a good portion of my childhood trying to reprogram the Tivo to make space for my favorite cartoon when my Dad was recording every show that had anything to do with Las Vegas. So to say that he keeps up with the latest knowledge was an understatement.

Lotus of Siam Garlic ShrimpThis was the first trip that I had been on to Vegas in about a year, but this was the first trip for my wife. On this trip we had a lot in mind to show her with a majority of the trip putting an emphasis on food. In this case a huge emphasis on Asian food. I mean CAPITALIZED, bold, italics level emphasis on ASIAN.

Our first stop began with Lotus of Siam. Consistently voted the best Thai food in America. This place is off the strip in Vegas and is a nice reminder of what is so cool about the strip. This is located in a shopping center that has no flashing lights, no loud music, and by anywhere but Vegas standards is completely normal. Now this place normally fills up incredibly quickly so we got there early in order to be second in line. We waited for about 45 minutes and finally got a table to begin our feast. We got some Khao Soi and Duck Panang to quell our hungry and boy did it ever. Normally when I go to Thai restaurants I get the Khao Soi. In order to really give a proper review I got that here also and it was incredible. But sadly I have to say my dish did not win the Thai dish off that night. That title went to my wife with her duck panang. The flavors on the duck panang curry could bring a tear to a glass eye. Not to mention they perfectly prepared the duck. With the skin on the outside perfectly crisped to preserve the juice of the meat on the inside. We ate until our stomachs were as happy as our noses. And then I ate more. This called for a midnight stroll around the strip and the Hard Rock Hotel in order to try and works through some of dinner to prepare for the next meal, Dim Sum.

We woke up the next morning ready for round two of what Vegas could offer. This brought us to my guilty pleasure Dim Sum. There is something about char sui bao buns that just makes my heart happy. They are named bao buns because its said that as the dough steam they look happy, but I can assure you that my goofy face was the one smiling on this morning way bigger than the bao buns. We make our way over to the Gold Coast casino and go to Ping Pang Pong. Luckily at the early time of 10 AM we were more awake than most of Las Vegas so we were able to sit right down. Right away we noticed that our presence added a little bit of diversity to the only asian customers at the restaurant. A great sign when going to get dim sum. Carts began to circle our table full of fresh dim sum goodness. Shu mai dumplings, shrimp puffs, and various stems and leaves make their way to the table and then we hit the jackpot, the bao buns. An entire steamer container of the bao buns makes its way over to me and I have found my happy place. I begin to eat these bao buns in a manner that is rarely seen outside of the Kung fu Panda movies. Eventually I cannot eat anymore food again and my family takes to the road to process everything that has made its way into our stomachs.

Lotus of Siam Khao SoiThus far on our journey, you might have noticed that we have never left any of our meals merely satisfied. We leave these meals well past satisfied that borderlines on uncomfortable due to how much we have eaten. So for our last Asian stop should we go small? Hell no. We are gonna get all you can eat sushi at Sakana. Now when you hear all you can eat sushi you probably think of sushi that has been sitting out at a lowly chinese buffet, but this is Vegas. Essentially for Sakana, they charge an admittance fee to get in. After that you get the same menu you would normally get when going out to a sushi restaurant. The difference is that you can just keep ordering to your hearts content with the only stipulation that they will charge you more than the admittance fee if there are leftovers. Game on Sakana. We ordered an impressive amount of sushi that we could compare the amount of fish on our table to that of a small body of water. Luckily with all of the huge hotels in the area, smaller restaurants like this are able to piggy back off those large orders to get some of the best fish brought to them. The quality of fish was incredible including a salmon roll that was top with extremely thin slices of lemon that was one of the most refreshing things I’ve had in my recent memory.

Eventually the Travel Tastes had to end. It was beyond incredible but we needed to come back home to God’s promise land of Fort Worth. The memories that we made were just incredible and the food that we had, I am still working on trying to lose. Every bite was over the top in terms of quality and taste to the point that I have new things that I have actually already dreamed about. Seriously not kidding about that. If you make your way to the desert paradise of Vegas, give some restaurants off the strip a try. I do apologize that my inner fat kid came out on this trip and I only remembered to get pictures of the Thai food. I will see if anyone in my family wasn’t as distracted as I was and upload more pictures of the Vegas goodness.

Lotus of Siam (THAI)
Ping Pang Pong (Dim Sum)
Sakana (SUSHI)