Siam Lotus

At first glance, the 900 block of Spring Garden Street doesn’t seem like the ideal place to go for a nice dinner date. Specifically, the space immediately next to Colosimo’s Gun Center doesn’t jump out as an ideal spot for a romantic, authentic little Thai restaurant.

But Siam Lotus defies first impressions. One of the few places in the city for real Thai food, Siam Lotus is intimate and affordable with a relaxed aesthetic, great menu and a well-stocked bar. The friendly and attentive wait staff are patient with customers who don't stand a chance of correctly pronouncing the names of Thai dishes like Kang Kiow Wahn Koong (shrimps with green curry paste, Thai eggplant, bamboo shoot strips and basil in coconut milk), Pad Aub Sauce Som (crispy baked half-duck served with orange sauce) and Kra Dook Moo Tood (marinated baby back ribs with garlic, black pepper, cilartro and oyster sauce).

If you can’t pronounce those dishes and you don’t want to point at the menu like a jackass, just order the Panang beef or the Kang Dang chicken; easy enough to say, delicious and not so spicy it’ll ruin your night.

A word to the wise: Despite the amazing food and great atmosphere, when visiting Siam Lotus at night, park as close as possible to the front door. The neighborhood north of Spring Garden can get weird.

Helpful hint: If you visit during lunch, you can go next door to Colosimo’s Gun Center and do a little target practice on the indoor shooting range while you wait for your Phad See Eew or your Kuoy Teaw Nam or whatever.

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