A profile on The Main Dish
With all that’s new and happening on bustling Market Street, there’s one spot that has maintained the serenity that’s quintessential of Southeast Asia: Lotus Thai. With its bronze Buddha statues, tropical ceiling fans and carved wooden furniture, the East Village eatery offers “exotic Thai cuisine” in an equally exotic atmosphere.
Friendly, attentive servers with in-depth knowledge of the restaurant’s ethnic cuisine do not hesitate to recommend popular, delicious dishes from each section of the comprehensive menu, from starters, salads, noodle and rice dishes to creative entrée specials and curries.
For starters, you can’t go wrong with the Lotus Platter, which includes four of Lotus Thai’s most popular appetizers: spring rolls, lady fingers (lightly fried shrimp sticks), chicken satay with a delicious peanut sauce and kra-thong-tong vegetable-filled pastries. The tom kha, spicy coconut soup, is a heavenly mix of sweetness and spice that provides the perfect amount of belly-warming comfort.
Curry lovers will certainly find their favorite curry flavor on the menu, available with the addition of vegetables, tofu, chicken, pork, shrip, squid, duck, scallop or mixed seafood. The panang curry, a creamy red-pepper sauce, came highly recommended and didn’t disappoint. Among the abundant noodle and rice dishes, the crab fried rice was an absolute standout.
For entrées, the downtown location — Lotus Thai also has a location on Sixth Avenue in Hillcrest—features more than a dozen creative chef’s specialties, including the savory roasted half-duck curry, seasoned with five spices and served in a sweet red curry sauce with pineapple, grape tomatoes, bell peppers and basil. Other highlights among the chef’s specialties — heavy in poultry and seafood — are the jumbo shrimp garlic, which are exactly as the name implies; and the Crying Tiger, the only beef-based dish in the specialty menu, served with a spicy lime dipping sauce that packs a powerful kick.
Lotus Thai is open for lunch and dinner daily. 906 Market Street, 619-595-0115; www.lotusthaisd.com.