Finding the perfect Thai restaurant in Las Vegas can be an overwhelming process. A hasty online search returns a dizzying number of choices. An innocent question to a group of Las Vegas locals prompts a vast array of passionate opinions. Is the best Thai food found in a stylish and sleek restaurant on the Strip or is it located in an unassuming strip mall away from the neon lights? For those who believe in the latter, there is plenty of Thai flavor to experience in Chinatown. Despite the growing neighborhood’s name, Chinatown is actually a culinary destination for a diverse range of authentic Asian cuisines. For anyone craving Thai food in particular, here are five restaurants to try in Chinatown this weekend.
Southern Thai fare
Behold, the magic of the famous Lotus of Siam exists in Chinatown. This offering from Bank Atcharawan, the former sommelier of the iconic Las Vegas Thai spot on Sahara, shifts the focus to Southern Thai dishes that pair well with an award-winning wine list. Atcharawan recommends that diners break from the tradition of pairing Riesling with their Thai food and try a selection from a new American vineyard, like Jolie Laide in the Russian River Valley. The menu’s vast selection of spicy entrees, like braised pork rib with chili paste and kaffir lime, are perfect for this.
Chada Thai & Wine, 3400 S. Jones Blvd.; 702-641-1345
Mango sticky rice
For diners who can’t choose between Thai and Chinese food when visiting Chinatown, the answer lies at Kung Fu Thai & Chinese Restaurant. The family-owned business serves generous portions of Thai and Chinese favorites including papaya salad with coconut sauce and salted crab and certified Angus beef sautéed in oyster sauce. Most notably, however, is the mango sticky rice on the dessert menu, which makes for a sweet ending to any spicy meal.
Kung Fu Thai & Chinese Restaurant 3505 S. Valley View Blvd.; 702-247-4120
This Las Vegas chain features all of the usual suspects along with some unexpected delights. From pork jerky made in house to avocado served in creamy, flavorful panang curry, there’s something to love for both vegetarian and meat-eating patrons. In addition to its eponymous noodles, Thai Style Noodle House offers an impressive selection of Thai fried rice entrees, including protein-forward duck and crab selections and a spicy basil leaf variety.
Thai Style Noodle House, 3516 Wynn Road; 702-873-8943
Yes, this Thai restaurant has mozzarella sticks and french fries on the menu, but diners shouldn’t let the random deep-fried American additions to Baan Thai’s menu dissuade them from digging into some authentic cuisine. Baan Thai serves a selection of curry dishes like Massaman curry made with rich coconut milk and a hearty mix of potatoes, onions and carrots along with vegetarian dishes like crispy tofu in orange sauce. Soy chicken and beef are also available.
Baan Thai Restaurant, 5115 Spring Mountain Road; 702-912-4577
Is there any better combination than spicy drunken noodles, endlessly flowing sake and karaoke? Krung Siam Thai is a late-night spot for post-Strip food and after-hours fun that serves Thai-style tapas like lemongrass steamed mussels along with stir fry, curry and noodles. Whether it’s a quick bite before going out or a warm bowl of tom yum at sunrise, Krung Siam Thai is the place.
Krung Siam Thai, 3755 Spring Mountain Road; 702-735-9485