Category Archives: Thai

CHADA STREET: I’ll call this one Chada A and the other one Chada 1.

Can you tell me how to get to Chada Street?  No, seriously, I’m late and they’re giving my table away.

I was terrified coming into tonight.  A few days ago I received an invitation from the good people over at Chada to their soft opening at their new restaurant.  Bon Atcharawan, the proprietor of both locations, certainly established something special and I had only met him once or twice before.  I constantly talk about how good Chada is (I’m sure you’re all sick of it by now) and even though I was incredibly excited, I was also terrified that I would be disappointed by my experience at the faster, cheaper location geared towards Thai street food.

Well this is a load off my mind.


I was actually incredibly excited to be able to do a tasting menu.  I had never been to an event like this before so I didn’t know what they were planning on doing but I love when I can just sit down, say nothing and just have food start arriving.  First up was a simple appetizer of salty peanuts with Thai flavors.

Subtle beginnings.

I won’t say this blew us away but it was certainly no slouch.  Planters certainly has nothing on these.  I would like there to be more lime leaf and onions but the citrus notes went very well with the salty nuts.  It’s quite salty and would be hard to eat an entire order by yourself.  Definitely a one or two bite thing for me.

They jumped the gun and brought out the spring roll next, which I was very excited for considering my love for the spicy herb spring roll at Chada.  This is described as a veggie and meatloaf spring roll I had a feeling it wasn’t a normal meatloaf.

I was heartbroken when I found out that the singer Meatloaf was not involved.

This is one of few dishes where I feel like there was a direct analogue to a version at Chada and I was somewhat disappointed.  The ones at Chada are filling but have a spicy sauce to go with the pork inside.  The meatloaf here is overshadowed by the extremely strong herb flavor, which I enjoy, but I would prefer if the meat itself was the star rather than second fiddle.  The basic sweet and sour sauce served alongside it could not save it.  A very well executed dish but I think it could be improved on.

Ever present in southeast Asian restaurants, they brought out a chicken satay next.  I enjoy grilled skewered meat and was looking forward to this, though satay is seemingly an afterthought at most places because it’s so easy to do well.

I was disappointed when told I must share.

Wow.  Definitely the best satay I’ve had.  The chicken marinade was super strong and the chicken was cut thick so it was still juicy and delicious when the outside was crisp and extremely well seasoned.  The peanut sauce I could’ve eaten with a spoon.  Was disappointed I couldn’t have more of this dish but unfortunately they caught me when I tried to leave the restaurant with the plate.

I was glad they restrained me though because up next was a dish that everyone could agree on…

This is burned into my retinas.

This pork belly dish might be the most delicious thing I’ve had all year.  I was expecting something similar to the Pad Kra Pow at Chada but this was a completely separate entity.  Thin cut super crispy pork belly with very juicy meat and a green chili sauce with many herbs.  For the purposes of the review, it’s awful to say that something is indescribably delicious but it simply was.  Most pork belly dishes are very heavy but this was a light and refreshing joy to eat.  We actually ended up asking for another plate later on and I could’ve easily eaten another plate just by myself.  At $6 a plate, this is something I could go for and just end up eating two orders myself.  It’s worth coming here just for this plate of food.

After the feeding frenzy subsided, they presented us with a banana leaf that we were told is filled with a fish curry.

It’s a banana leaf, there must be bananas inside.
That was my second guess.

The curry inside looks like a small piece of fish and I took my first bite expecting a flaky piece of fish texture, but it wasn’t there.  The curry is sort of congealed like a custard.  I will say I kind of missed a bit of texture in the dish but the curry itself was delicious, subtly spicy but full of flavor.  The presentation adds to it but I still wish there was some variety in the texture even if it’s as simple as a bit of rice underneath.

I love larb and this next dish was very exciting mostly because I’ve never had fish larb before.  It was no slouch.

If you know me, this has PUT IT IN MY FACE written all over it.

There are few things I love more than grilled meat, onion, spices and lime juice.  This is the kind of dish I want to die eating.  Just a perfect melding of flavors and good textures.  Fish goes well in larb apparently.

The next dish may have been the biggest surprise of the night, however, if only because it’s so unsuspecting.

You should be able to smell this through your computer screen.

We knew the next dish was coming before we ever saw it because the aroma coming from this plate of food was so strong, and I have a terrible sense of smell.  Crab has a great smell and our table REEKED (in a good way) of crab while we were eating this dish.  They called it a crab fat fried rice so I’m assuming all the oil used in this dish came from the crab and wow if that’s a thing I want more crab fat in my life.  One of the all time best fried rice dishes, the only critique I could possibly levy against it is that I wish there was a bit more crispy rice involved.

I was nervous as all hell with regards to the dessert.  I had no idea what to expect.

I was warned against yellow snow, unsure what to do with pink.

I really really really wish I could say the meal ended on an upnote for me.  Two of my three dining companions really enjoyed their dessert, but I couldn’t get into half of it.  The shaved ice inspired vivid memories of snow cones to me and that was fine, and the coconut jelly was better than the ones I had experienced before but the other components didn’t seem to belong to me.  Especially the red beans, which had a strange texture that I didn’t particularly enjoy.  Thai desserts in general always seemed fairly strange to me and I don’t think I really got ‘into’ this one.  Maybe that’s my fault, who knows.

I got to meet chef Aime right after the meal.  I can say with no doubt that the execution on all these dishes was phenomenal and I look forward to eating all of her food for the foreseeable future.

The duck face selfie had bad lighting.

All in all, this was an incredible experience.  Bon and Aimee very much care about Thai food and presenting it in the best light possible.  Chada Street is a much more approachable place for people who have never had Thai food before and certainly won’t break the bank with most plates being less than $10.  This trip definitely exceeded my lofty expectations and I can’t wait to go back and try the rest of the menu.  I expect this place to be a staple for years to come.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to do some laundry to stop smelling like crab.

3839 Spring Mountain Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89103

Hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 5 PM to 3 AM

(702) 579-0207

CHADA THAI & WINE: “Tie good, you like shirt?”

When it comes to Thai food, Lotus of Siam has always been the most lauded of Vegas’s small offstrip restaurants but it has always had a bunch of problems with it.  It’s usually slammed with tourists making it hard to get reservations, it has steadily grown more expensive as time goes on, the menu is MASSIVE and impossible for first time patrons to navigate, (OXFORD COMMA UP IN THIS SHIT) and in a city known for 24/7 grub, you can never get a seating past 10 PM.  Lotus needed an upgrade, and thanks to one of its sommeliers (wine nerd) deciding to open up his own place, we now have Chada Thai.


I’m not going to pretend this is my first time here.  It might be closer to my 50th time here.

Chada Thai is king of Vegas strip mall food.  It’s next to a bunch of other Asian restaurants on the western side of what they call Chinatown but what is closer to Asiatown.  Every complaint I have with Lotus is fixed with Chada.  It’s a small, intimate space.  It’s open late, with a small and easy to master menu.  And even if you have a tendency to over order (not saying I do but oh dear god yes I do), it is very hard to ever spend more than $35 apiece on food alone.  My particular menu choices at this point are almost set in stone, choosing between a few dishes depending on the size of our party.  These are some of my staples.

Chada Thai - Fresh Oysters
Fresh Oysters

I was never huge on oysters.  They seem to be a lot like cheese and wine, something with a huge range and it takes a very particular palate to be able to distinguish great from bad. The snobbish eschew toppings in favor of tasting the oyster as it is, but Chada tops theirs with chili paste and fried garlic amongst other things. It’s hard not to say it’s an improvement over the base model.  At $2/oyster, it’s certainly not something you could go broke over.

Chada Thai - Tom Kha Kai
Tom Kha Kai

Their Tom Kha Kai is the best I’ve ever tasted. Large pieces of mushroom, chicken and thai basil in an extremely tangy broth.  This is the perfect soup to nurse you back to health when you’re sick (mostly because it’s spicy enough to get your nose running almost instantly).  If I had a terrible day, coming here and sipping on a bowl of this soup would do a good job of making the world a little better.

Chada Thai - Pad Kra Pow
Pad Kra Pow

The Pad Kra Pow is likely my favorite dish. For a long time, I was unaware of its existence until a friend of mine told me you could make an off menu meat choice for it.  When combined with the roasted and then fried pork belly, this dish hits an absolute home run.  It’s a slightly spicy, thai basil infused sauce with meat with texture unlike anything you’ve ever had before.  It took me probably three or four trips before I truly fell in love with it, but I cannot imagine ever showing up and not ordering it.  10/10 would pork again.

Chada Thai - Duck Panang
Duck Panang

The duck Panang is probably the dish that most people fall in love with their first time.  Panang is a kind of curry, but instead of the usual coconut milk, Chada uses coconut cream instead which makes a much thicker sauce which works well with such a small portion.  The duck is done the same way the crispy pork is, first roasted and then fried.  The result is crispness bordering on tempura.  One of the most expensive dishes on the menu at $18, but it is typically the first dish in a large group to order multiple of.  If you go here, do NOT leave without trying this dish.

Chada Thai - Moo Khum Waan
Moo Khum Waan

Last but not least is the Moo Khum Waan.  Among my friends, it generally remains in the middle of the pack in terms of preference but don’t let that make you think it’s anything but great.  Pork loin grilled with a garlic and mint chili sauce, this is the perfect way to cool down your mouth after the more spicy dishes you’ve had before it.  If you have someone with you who refuses to eat spicy food, this would be the dish to serve them.  It’s also interesting to see the two drastically different ways to serve pork between this and the Pad Kra Pow.

This is just the start of the menu.  There are many other dishes that I’ve left out that are worth of being spoken of.  I may seem like a shill for them but they truly do represent the best of what Vegas offstrip cuisine has to offer.  I’m not going to do a rating scale, but on a scale of “Don’t go there” to “Go there,” I give them a “Why aren’t you there yet?”

Address: 3400 S Jones Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89146

Phone: (702) 641-1345

Hours: Open Tuesday – Sunday · 5:00 pm – 3:00 am