By Mary Frederiksen, AKA The Happy Cooker
According to the urban dictionary, “chada” refers to someone who is a friend to anyone he meets, tends to keep to himself a little bit, and is generally a good person. I am not sure if this is why the CHADA THAI RESTAURANT is so named, but I will find out on my next visit there. And we will be going to this dining establishment many more times.
Why? Because it is some of the best Thai food we have savored in a long time. We read about this Asian bistro, established two years ago, in the local publications. It received rave reviews. Now we know why.
The chef and sommelier is Bank Atcharawan. Atcharawan was named a Sommelier of The Year in 2013. Prior to opening his CHADA THAI RESTAURANT, he ran the best German Reisling-based wine program in the country (at Las Vegas’s LOTUS OF SIAM). His wine list at Chada, though much smaller, reflects this knowledge and expertise.
We started our meal with the Tom Yum Goong soup. The flavors “popped!” The shrimp was fresh, the vegetables tender and the broth contained a perfect balance of the classic Thai flavors without the annoyance of non-edible bits of lemongrass and galanga.
Next, we ordered Masaman Curry with chicken. Only white meat chicken was used with perfectly cooked potatoes, onion and peanuts all enrobed in a rich, thick sauce. I wanted to lick the bowl clean but showed some class by eating every bit with the rice instead.
Panang Beef Curry was our next dish. It had an intriguing combination of sweetness and richness. The meat was perfectly tender and, again, the gravy was thick and rich.
As a side dish, we tried the Thai classic, Cucumber salad. The portion size was very generous. The cucumber, red onion, red pepper and cilantro were in perfect balance with the right amount of acid tang and sugar sweetness serving as a palate cooler to offset the spiciness of the main dishes.
Our final selection was Drunken Noodles Pork. It had an intriguing smokey flavor and was presented on a bed of steamed romaine lettuce. The pork was melt-in-your-mouth tender, with red and green bell peppers and Thai basil all in a rich sauce. Stuffed from the other dishes, we had a bit of this dish left over to enjoy at home the next day.
During the meal, we enjoyed a half bottle of 1998 GK Fritz Haag Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Riesling-Auslese. Oh My! The wine was the perfect match to Thai food. A staff recommendation, it is one of my all-time favorite Rieslings. Hubby Glen noted that this wine was at its peak with vibrant acidity, showing honeyed pear and apple fruit aromas with spice components. Once in the mouth, it had a creme brûlée overlay that coated the palate and lingered at the finish. Wine Lines rating: 96. Glen let me consume the larger portion of the 375 ml. bottle. What a generous man he is. This is now my new favorite wine!
CHADA THAI is a restaurant that is not to be missed in Las Vegas. This 40-seat venue is beautiful decorated with framed wine labels and a wall of wine display. They are open everyday from 5 p.m. until 3 a.m. I recommend reservations – it was crowded on a Monday night.
CHADA THAI restaurant
3400 S. Jones Blvd. #11A,
Las Vegas, NV 89146.
Their web site is http://www.chadavegas.com