John Curtas is …

Return to OCHA THAI

Remember when we went Thai restaurant hopping with uber-chef Jet Tila (Jet Tila’s Tale of Two Thais)? ELV put his choice of a Thai restaurant up against the Jet-sters and we had to begrudgingly agree that Tila’s choice that night (Krung Siam) was the fresher, more vibrant, and cleaner of the two when it came to bringing forth the flavors and heat of true Thai cooking.

We returned to both in the last two weeks, and can’t tell you who or what is wrong with Krung, but our simple meal there of shrimp in a Thai curry sauce, Thai pork jerky and papaya salad was the worst Thai food we’ve ever had. The shrimp (still in their rock-hard shells), were nothing but stale tasting mush (a sure sign of having been thawed and refrozen, perhaps repeatedly). All shrimp texture and taste was shrimply absent (ouch!), and we found ourselves spitting it out for its in-edibility. We pointed at the plate to our waitron, made a grimace, and she whisked it away. But it remained on the bill. Our pork jerky was scarcely better — in place of mush it was the consistency of shoe leather (we know its supposed to be jerky-like, but these pieces were un-chewable) — and the green papaya had to have been shredded two days earlier.

Krung Siam we shall visit thee no more. You are hereby banished from the ELV eating kingdom for conduct unbecoming a great cuisine.

Ocha Thai on the other hand, may not blow you away with originality, but each of the half dozen times we’ve been here, we’ve left happy, satisfied and with our mouth pleasantly on fire. (We at ELV find a vanilla malt from Luv-It-Custard – three blocks north – is just the right extinguisher.)

The above meal makes a nice light lunch: sour Issan sausages (charmingly called Thai “hot dog” on the menu), todd munn (deep fried fish cakes), and a nice sweet, sticky, spicy cucumber salad to dip them both into. Those sausages are surprisingly digestible, the fried fish cakes equally so, and no one does the sweet/hot thing better than Thai.

Not a world beating Thai meal by any stretch, but consistently good and tasty — with nary a mushy crustacean in sight.

Our meal for one at Krung was $57 (including a $10 tip), while lunch at Ocha was $32 (including an $8) tip. You make the call!

OCHA THAI

1201 Las Vegas Blvd. South

Las Vegas, NV 89104

702.386.8631

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2 Responses to Return to OCHA THAI

  • I had lunch at Krung two weeks ago. Only had time for one of their specials as I was in a hurry … but everything was cooked propely and the spice was as advertised. Still love their pork waterfall salad.

  • We had the WORST lunch ever at Krung Siam about three weeks ago. I can’t even begin to describe the atrocities we suffered without being re-traumatized again. So that noone thinks I am exaggerating, let me say that our meal started with drink orders. I asked for hot tea, generally a staple in any Asian restaurant, and was told that they did not have any hot water to make it… At this point, the entire atrocity may be my fault, because I should have left immediately, but persisted hoping for better on your recommendations! The meal took nearly two hours to complete, dishes were forgotten, basics were not forthcoming (water, utensils, etc.), bills were incorrect, and not one person in the restaurant seemed to care. The food, when we finally received it at the table, was mediocre at best. You are correct to banish this restaurant, but I wish you had done it before I went for lunch with my boss!

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