By Jason Harris
Remember these three words: ribeye crying tiger. Start there with the eclectic and interesting menu at Kinnara Thai Restaurant and build your meal around it. It is a dish that, once you taste, you will have no problem keeping in your mind, as you’ll likely want to go back to the Maryland Parkway eatery and devour it over and over again.
The tender meat is grilled and marinated with an addictive blend of flavors. Here’s a punch of tamarind. There’s a burst of lime. Brown sugar, fish sauce and Thai chilis – they’re all there! The whole thing creates a delightful dance in your mouth.
Kinnara might be one of the newest entries into the crowded field of Thai dining in Las Vegas, but it’s already separated itself from the pack. Standard dishes stand out here and the items you can’t find elsewhere are not only delicious, but an exciting change of pace for the diner.
From the tried and true, crispy veggie egg rolls might sound mundane, but fried expertly, they become crave worthy. In fact, the samplers platter with two spring rolls, four chicken satays, four shumai style dumplings and two crispy shrimp seems like a perfect happy hour starter.
Papaya salad is only going to get more refreshing as the weather continues to heat up, with the shredded fruit accompanied by carrots, baby tomatoes and crunchy peanuts in a spicy garlic dressing.
The grill is the secret weapon, putting out one fabulous protein after the next. Besides the aforementioned ribeye, check out Tammy’s BBQ Chicken Jello Rice which features a Thailand by way of Nigeria style fried rice redolent of tomatoes and curry. And, dude, there’s a damn good BBQ half chicken that comes along with it.
I’m not sure if the sexy shrimp salad is supposed to make you feel sexy or if the dish itself is supposed to be sexy, but either way, I’m in. The shrimp finds itself in a spicy chili sauce and against the acid forward dressing of the greens makes this another big flavor bomb.
Another welcome shrimp preparation is the tamarind shrimp. The crispy crustacean is a welcome exercise in textures, coated in a sweet, sticky tamarind sauce and served with crunchy onions, garlic chips and snappy green beans.
From the noodle section, Fire Dept. Noodle puts some heat on a traditional pad see yew with a spicy chili garlic sauce and again, you will be hard-pressed to find a better preparation of this dish in the city.
While the Thai dining scene may be crowded, Kinnara Thai Restaurant, offering fresh and unique spins, is already a must-try, melding expert cookery with creativity.