Legacy Siam Creates Upbeat Feel at Palm Desert Site

Legacy Thai Cuisine owners offer one-of-a-kind dishes



Legacy Siam offers a unique dish called Jungle Curry at its Palm Desert location.

Photo by Pamela Bieri

 

Legacy Siam is creating a new feel at its recently opened restaurant in the Village at University Park in palm Desert.

The location has housed the long-shuttered former Lucky’s restaurant, but Legacy Siam owners Ally and Chai Butrlakorn have transformed the site with a Feng Shui sense of openness and balance.

Legacy Siam is sister to the popular Legacy Thai Cuisine in La Quinta, also owned and operated by the Butrlakorns. The new large space has double high ceilings, open ducting, and walls of glass overlooking the corner of Cook Street and Gerald Ford.

Cheerful pale yellow walls with splashes of red accents – such as drop lights over the bar – give it an upbeat and fun atmosphere. In addition to bar and table seating, a communal table with glass bubble drop lights offers another option to single customers wishing to mingle, or for large parties.

An elephant quilt wall hanging sparkling with rhinestones and a tranquil Buddha head painting adds to the authentic Thai decor.

The menu is Isaan style, which is the northeastern region of Thailand from where Chai came. Steamed rice is served in a woven bamboo cylinder with a pull-off top.   

“In Isaan, when it’s cold, it’s very cold; and when it’s dry, it’s very dry,” said Butrlakorn. “People carry their rice in this bamboo container to warm their hands. At mealtime, they take a little rice out and mix it with their food.”

One of the regional dishes is Gai Yang Isaan (pictured above, right), a chair-grilled half of a marinated chicken served with a spicy red chili sauce, and steamed “sticky” rice Isaan-style in the bamboo container.

Another is the Isaan Thai pork sausage served with fresh ginger, Thai chili, peanuts and fresh green cabbage.

The Butrlakorns are eager to share and describe their many unusual dishes with guests.

“Everything is very fresh, and made-to-order,” said Ally Butrlakorn. “Something you won’t find anywhere else is our Jungle Curry or Gang Pa.”

Curry paste is cooked in finger root jungle broth, Thai basil, fresh vegetables and choice of chicken shrimp, fish, scallops or tofu. Finger root is a tangle of long roots that resembles ginger.

This is a curry made without coconut milk. The other curry dishes – green, red, yellow, Massaman and Panang – are all traditionally cooked in coconut milk.

Another unusual appetizer is Poh Phe Sod, steamed eggroll skin wrapped around fresh cucumber, Chinese sausage, green onions and bean sprouts served with sweet tamarind sauce and topped with fresh crab meat.  Chai’s hand carved radish flower adds a gourmet touch to the dish.

Legacy Siam offers a daily lunch special for $8.95, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Each of the 18 choices includes steamed rice, Tom Kah Kai soup and small house salad.

In the near future, the Butrlakorns plan to offer an Asian seafood boil that will include fresh seasonal crab legs, oysters, shrimp, lobster and clams, all at market price. You will be able to choose how spicy from mild to very spicy. In addition will be fried catfish, shrimp and oyster baskets with sweet potato fries, and extras such as corn, potato, steam rice and potato.

Legacy Siam, 36901 Cook Street, Ste. 10, Palm Desert. Hours: Daily 11 a.m. to Midnight, (760) (442) 666-3640.

Add your comment:
Desert Guide

Related Articles

Creative Mexican Cuisine Marks Hacienda Cantina & Beach Club's Reopening

New entertainment, special events, and a new executive chef in Ruben Galvez mark the reopening of Hacienda Cantina & Beach Club in South Palm Springs.

Imaginative Edge Marks New Chef at Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs

The newest restaurant by celebrity chef Kerry Simon, Simon Kitchen + Bar, just opened at the Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs, bringing talented Executive Chef Jeremy Saccardi into the arena.

Food & Wine Festival Palm Desert™ 2014 James Beard 4-Course Luncheon

To kick off the Food & Wine Festival Palm Desert™ 2014 there was a a four-course gourmet luncheon featuring James Beard-recognized chefs, including David LeFevre, Brooke Williamson, Matthew Accarrino, and Gale Gand,

Cook Like a Pro

Elevate your culinary skills with classes hosted by local chefs.

TRIO Palm Springs: Fall In Love With Cool Drinks

At TRIO Palm Springs, the diverse selection of cocktails reflect the Palm Springs vibe and highlight some of the most popular aspects of the area.

Promotions + Contests

Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.
2014/15 Best of the Best

2014/15 Best of the Best

Palm Springs Life’s annual Best of the Best. Readers tell us who their choice is for the “Best of the Best” of the Coachella Valley in over 40 categories.
Enter to Win A Celebrate Dance Experience!

Enter to Win A Celebrate Dance Experience!

Enter just once for a chance to win tickets to one of the second annual Palm Desert International Dance Festival performances.