Pakpao Thai Food has been getting a lot of praise lately, from Scott Reitz's fondness of the unyielding spice of their curries, to ranking among our list of Dallas' most interesting restaurants, to Leslie Brenner at The Dallas Morning News calling it one of the best new openings of the year. A lot of that praise has been directed at chef Eddy Thretipthuangsin specifically.
But earlier this week Pakpao's parent company, Apheleia Restaurant Group, announced that Thretipthuangsin would be leaving not because he quit or was fired but because of "a long term growth discussion about what was best for the restaurant and the brand," which sounds like the kind of thing you tell people after a bad break-up.
See also: Dallas' Five Best Thai Restaurants
Owners Richard and Tiffanee Ellman of Apheleia also own Oak, and Thretipthuangsin's departure from Pakpao comes after chef Jason Maddy left Oak earlier this year. While Maddy officially left for health reasons, Oak picked up a new chef and promptly dropped from four stars to three from The Dallas Morning News's Leslie Brenner. Maddy has since taken a position at Royal Palms Beach Club on Grand Cayman Island. Meanwhile, you still live in Dallas.
A press release points out that Apheleia plans to make Pakpao a national brand. It's possible that a Thai restaurant without a spice scale is a tough sell, but considering the praise Thretipthuangsin garnered it's hard to believe something as frivolous as that would lead to a changing of the guard.
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