The latest location boasts a design rich in Thai culture and menu of Northern Thai cuisine
Lotus of Siam’s first casino venue inside the Red Rock Resort cost more than $5 million to build out, and it appears the money was spent wisely. The result is a stunning visual feast for the eyes as well as a tribute to the culture designed to transport guests to Northern Thailand. The 8,000-square-foot restaurant’s entrance is a grand entryway with an 11-foot-tall south-facing wood door carved with a lotus medallion.
Inside, there are 230 suspended lanterns glowing overhead, including a Bua lounge (Thai for lotus) with a long bar stretching along one side of the room, and a bamboo pergola above, in addition to scaffolding forming shelves for the back bar. The Mali room (Thai for jasmine) is on the other back side with another eye-pleasing display: a 40-foot-high wall filled with 80 brightly-painted vessels symbolic of the packs workers in Thailand wear while harvesting tea.
The rear dining room of the 280-seat restaurant is named Siam, the old Western term for Thailand. Spanning this room are rattan chandeliers and a 60-foot ceiling with a retractable roof. It’s constructed of corrugated steel panels, the same materials used to build housing for the poor in today’s Thailand, and it’s spotted with rust as a nod to the high humidity in Thailand.
Throughout the space there are sculptures standing guard, a peaceful Zen garden located outside overgrown with lush greenery, and a reflecting pond showcasing bronze lotus fountains, red bricks and rounded stone arches, like those found in the ruins of Thai temples. This allows feng shui to easily flow and create good fortune.
To top it all off, a grand opening party on Nov. 9 featured hand balancers performing Muay Thai moves, a traditional lion and dragon dance, dancers in traditional costumes performing a classical blessing dance and the release of floating lotus lanterns at the resort’s pool in honor of the Thailand lantern festival, symbolizing the release of negative energy while wishing for good fortune for the coming year. It was followed on opening day with Buddhist monks blessing the new establishment.
The Chutima family opened their hugely successful original and understated Lotus of Siam in 1999 on East Sahara Avenue in Commercial Center (currently closed). When it had severe water damage in recent years, the family opened at 620 E. Flamingo Road. Now the famed restaurant is celebrating its 23rd year of operation with the opening of its first casino location inside the Red Rock Casino Resort and Spa.
The original Lotus of Siam menu was created by James Beard Award-winning Chef Saipin Chutima from century-old family recipes highlighted by a distinct and hearty trifecta of spices, herbs and flavors.
At this new location, the menu largely remains the same, including signature dishes like the khao soi—a Burmese-influenced dish with egg noodles in a curry base with a touch of coconut cream, choice of meat and garnished with sliced red onions, lime and pickled vegetables. There’s also deep fried garlic prawns with shells (almost like potato chips) sautéed with garlic sauce topped with ground black pepper; and kang hung lay sweet pork curry stew cooked with fresh spices.
The cuisine is complemented by the extensive and renowned wine list curated by Bill Chutima that both locals and tourists have come to cherish; and exceptional cocktail offerings from Kenny Okada.
Hours are Sunday through Thursday 4 to 11 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. as well as lunch on Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. A bimonthly Saturday Champagne Brunch will launch on Nov. 26, complete with a DJ and decadent offerings exclusive to the Red Rock location. To make reservations, visit lotusredrock.com or call (702) 907-8888.
Looking for more Asian restaurants to try around town? There’s A Secret Charm Thai Kitchen and Coffee Spot in Henderson.