Nittaya Parawong’s second Thai food location won’t be a secret for long

From top: panang beef curry and drunken noodles.
Photo: Steve Marcus

After eight years, Nittaya Parawong’s eponymous Secret Kitchen isn’t much of a secret anymore. It’s a restaurant I should frequent more often (especially for her World-Famous Spinach Salad), but its central-Summerlin location is just far enough out of the way to be a hassle. So, when I heard her new Block 9 Thai Street Eats would open at Town Center and the 215, I got pretty excited.

Interestingly, Block 9 is less a new restaurant than a quick-service Secret Kitchen. The menu draws heavily from the original’s, which makes sense considering its proven success. Selections are packaged and portioned in a manner befitting the more casual concept, with serving dishes craftily doubling as to-go container bases.

Parawong still delivers the depth of flavors for which she’s known. The benign-sounding Thai stalwart basil chicken ($11) blends stir-fry chicken with basil—and a fried egg on top—to deliver big flavors. So do grilled pork skewers ($11), whose smoky meatiness is offset by a sharp tamarind chili sauce, and complexly spiced beef jerky ($8), which is sinewy but far from offensive.

If anything, the menu might actually be too approachable. Even dishes denoted as spicy don’t deliver a ton of heat, so if you’re feeling feisty, make sure to ask for a condiment caddy with ground chili powder, prik dong (chilies in vinegar) and nam prik pao chili paste. Even without tweaking, panang beef curry ($11) is nuanced, balancing hints of heat with sweet coconut milk. Drunken noodles ($11) deliver similar spice in a multilayered base, more successfully than the run-of-the-mill pad see iew ($11) with nary a hint of wok-inspired smoke.

What about Block 9’s version of Parawong’s World-Famous Spinach Salad ($8)? Instead of being served with chicken larb, it’s paired only with lime-laden vinaigrette. Individually battered spinach leaves remain tasty, but this rendition might just stay west-Valley famous.

Block 9 Thai Street Eats 10595 Discovery Drive #5, 702-331-1088. Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Photo of Jim Begley

Jim Begley

Jim Begley is an avid food lover who began writing about his Las Vegas dining adventures to defray his obscene ...

Get more Jim Begley
  • Stellar as the entertainment onstage can be, the menu is just as well-thought-out, featuring American steakhouse classics sprinkled with surprises.

  • Most dishes on the belt cost $2.50, which means you can share a sizable 10-plate meal with a companion for $12 each (beer, tax and ...

  • My favorite bite? The behemoth Firebird sandwich. The giant, spicy fried-chicken thigh is the crispiest, crunchiest fried chicken I’ve tasted, yet it maintains the perfect ...

  • Get More Reviews Stories
Edit Story Top of Story