My husband is a retired USAF physician and we have lived in multiple states and countries during his 26 year tenure. We have lived in many different environments-rural, sleepy towns to bustling, thriving cities. I am a city girl at heart so our move to Las Vegas was more akin to a Thank You Jesus! move for me.
I love, love, love that I can go to live musical shows and talks at the lovely art deco inspired Smith Center for The Performing Arts here in Las Vegas. In fact, my book club and I did just that in November. We went to hear David Sedaris read from his latest work and decided to combine it with a dinner outing.
We went to Le Thai Las Vegas which is located downtown. Downtown Las Vegas has gone through a much needed rejuvenation thanks to Tony Hsieh and Zappos. They have slowly transformed it into a trendy and safe destination where locals usually hang out and party. Le Thai is right smack in the middle of this burgeoning growth and energy and that is one of the many charms of this restaurant.
Huge windows line the outside wall of a very compact space. There is additional seating in a semi-enclosed adjoining area which works well in Las Vegas because of our mild weather. It was chilly when we were there but the outdoor heaters kept us toasty. Reservations are a must especially for larger groups.
It is located on Freemont Street just a block away from the start of the downtown Freemont Street Experience. There is plenty of street parking but you may have to walk a few blocks to find a spot and they also offer valet service.
Have I mentioned that valet service is FREE at almost all Las Vegas establishments? I love it that you can valet almost everywhere here-the mall, grocery store, hospital, airport, and of course hotels and restaurants. You tip the attendant when you pick up your car. It is always great to have a valet option especially when I am driving by myself.
3 Color Curry with Chicken
This is the house specialty and a blend of the red, yellow and green curry. It was a sweet coconut curry-smooth and well harmonized with a pleasant lingering taste and aroma of lemongrass.
Green Curry with Chicken
This curry gets it’s coloring from the green Thai chilies and it’s distinct taste from the basil. Bamboo shoots, bell peppers and zucchinis are the main vegetables that round up this robust curry.
Chicken Pad Thai
Rice noodles stir fried with eggs, green onions, bean sprouts and cilantro says the short description on the menu but this is so much more. Pad Thai is what most people mention when you bring up Thai cuisine so a good Thai restaurant must have a good if not great Pad Thai and Le Thai’s does not disappoint. The strong and pungent flavor from the fish sauce is deftly tamed here by the skillful addition of lime juice and sugar. The careful balance of sweet and tangy in this dish is truly excellent.
Pad See Ewe
I have mentioned before that this is the gold standard by which I review Thai restaurants mostly because I am so crazy for this dish. Flat rice noodles are stir fried with eggs and Chinese broccoli in a sweet soy sauce. This though was a tad salty and had a residual burnt taste.
Mixed Vegetables Stir Fried with Tofu
A good combination of varied vegetables which included Chinese and American broccoli, mushrooms, onion, carrots and zucchini was nicely stir fried with firm tofu.
I like it that Le Thai Las Vegas has a small menu which concentrates on the most basic and frankly the best of Thai cuisine. The food is fresh, well prepared and made to order so you can vary the spiciness to your liking or maybe tolerance. All the entrees are less than $15 and they also serve some fun cocktails. The service was excellent and the waitress was attentive and helpful with information and suggestions.
The ambiance is terrific. I love the vibe and energy here and almost all the downtown restaurants. It is cool, trendy, funky,stylin’, hip and hipsterish-everything that you could desire from the snazzy and changing urban landscape which is downtown Las Vegas.
So the next time you’re in town and are looking for a place to hang out, come to downtown Las Vegas-it’s where all the cool locals are chillaxing!
By the way: I got to meet David Sedaris and he kindly signed a copy of his book for me and yes, he is just as charming in real life as he is in his writings!