Try the Thai Fried Chicken, which is a boneless, juicy dish that sits atop garlic fried rice
“Hidden gem” is one of those terms that gets thrown around too often in the restaurant world. However, in the case of Charm Thai Kitchen & Coffee, it fits from both a culinary standpoint and due to its location.
The restaurant, inside of Country Club Center (who knew that was a thing?) off of Valle Verde Drive and Horizon Ridge Parkway, is difficult to find even when inside the complex housing it. On one side of the commercial lot sits the excellent luncheonette Kitchen Table, along with the Henderson Bridge Club headquarters and a Mathease office. Charm finds itself in a completely different, freestanding area of the strip mall, attached to a law office or a chiropractic facility or some other mismatched juxtaposition.
An Electric feel to Match an Electric Cuisine
The inside of the space is warm, with the walls painted blue and adorned with white flowers. Seating leans more towards the coffee side than the kitchen side – wooden chairs, half-booths – all in a long dining room. There’s also a host stand in the middle of room, attached to one wall, making it look more like a DJ platform than a place for the friendly waitstaff.
The eclectic feel of the room is matched by the cuisine. Charm Thai Kitchen & Coffee’s website describes Executive Chef Sittichai Panyasiri’s dishes as, “both quality interpretations of classic dishes and daring new ventures into the uncharted territories of food.” Perhaps the latter is overstating things a bit, but the chef is presenting both modern takes on Thai food as well as recognizable versions on the tried and true, and both to great success.
Here Are 7 Must-Try Dishes
Soups are a specialty at Charm Thai Kitchen & Coffee. Tom yum, featuring lemongrass, herbs, mushrooms, cilantro, tomatoes, and lime juice, along with tom ka, a similar dish that also has coconut milk, are found on most Thai menus, but Charm’s versions are excellent.
24-Hour Beef Noodle Soup
For the more adventurous, check out the 24-Hour Beef Noodle Soup. The combination of beef short rib, egg noodles, bone marrow broth, Chinese broccoli, Thai basil, bean sprouts, cilantro, onion & chicharron garlic oil plus the titular cooking time give this soup a soothing, deep flavor.
There’s also Khao Soi, a northern Thai yellow curry soup with egg noodles both flat and crispy, pickled cabbage, red onion, lime and the diner’s choice of protein. The beef short rib holds up nicely to the melding of other flavors, served in the bowl, on the bone, offers a striking presentation.
Thai Fried Chicken
Of course, there are plenty of other proteins to choose from and the Thai Fried Chicken (TFC) is a must. This is the first iteration of it that I’ve seen in Las Vegas. When I first tried TFC at Hat Yai in Portland, Oregon, it was one of those boundary expanding moments, when a new world of taste opens up to you. At Charm, it is served boneless, is plenty juicy and sits atop garlic fried rice.
Crispy Tofu is an excellent choice to complement pad prik king, spicy green beans with red chili paste.
Crispy Prawn and Grapefruit Salad
Meanwhile, for something a little lighter, check out the Crispy Prawn and Grapefruit Salad where the crunch of the crustacean and on the acid of the citrus commingle harmoniously. Peanut, mint, roasted coconut and lime dressing create a whirlwind of flavors and textures to go along with it.
Excellent food and a warm atmosphere means that Charm Thai Kitchen & Coffee will remain a gem, though it probably won’t stay hidden for much longer… no matter how hard it is to find.
This local treasure is located at 1770 W Horizon Ridge Pkwy, Henderson, NV 89012.
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