Pan Asian firepower at David Wong’s

You lookin’ at me? That’s red snapper with Panang curry. Just be glad it’s in his eye and not yours.
Photo: Beverly Poppe
Jim Begley

Ubiquitous Chinese restaurants aside, Thai is probably the most prevalent Asian cuisine in the Valley. Everyone knows of our nationally acclaimed, James Beard-winning Lotus of Siam, and lesser-known mom-and-pop Thai joints dot Las Vegas. A recent outstanding entrant into this category is David Wong’s Pan Asian, opened by transplanted restaurateurs who previously owned a similarly named, upscale restaurant near Naples, Florida. Wong’s is truly more Thai than Pan Asian, though the menu excels no matter where on the continent it wanders.

Panang curry from David Wong's Pan Asian.

Don’t dare start with anything but the Malaysian roti ($7). The fried bread—pillow soft inside, crispy and flaky outside—is incredibly addictive, served alongside a yellow curry dipping sauce strewn with potatoes, onions and basil. My only minor qualm is the difficulty of eating the dish cleanly. Be sure to ask for a spoon to help scoop out the goodness; a fork just won’t suffice.

Restaurant Guide

David Wong’s Pan Asian
2980 S. Durango Dr., 629-7464.
Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

Among its entrées, Wong’s showcases the standard rainbow of curries—green, yellow and red—alongside Massaman and common Thai noodle dishes such as rad nah and pad see yew. Prices for either will depend upon your choice of proteins, which include tofu, chicken, pork, beef ($9 apiece) or shrimp ($11).

The curries I’ve tried have all been worthy representations, with the Massaman particularly noteworthy considering the avocado and sweet potato in its sweet curry base. Wong’s Panang curry is also memorable, with just the right amount of bite.

The noodle dishes are equally exemplary with smokiness abounding from the wok, particularly the rad nah, which is amongst the city’s best. Most renditions aren’t fried long enough to impart ample firmness. Wong’s succeeds effortlessly.

Don’t miss the crispy whole red snapper ($22), if it’s available, though take care with how spicy you order it. The gaping-mouthed fish arrives whole at your table, staring you down as you disassemble him. Like the roti, it’s perfectly crunchy outside and tender inside. Be sure to snack on the fins for a meaty potato chip-like treat.

Service is incredibly friendly—you’re probably being served by the affable Wong himself. The room isn’t particularly memorable, but that’s okay. This isn’t five-star dining; it’s simply some of the best Thai food in the Valley.


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