Back in May, we wrote about the booming Laotian food scene in North Texas. In our survey of the biggest Lao restaurant market in North America, we noted that one more new kitchen — Khao Noodle Shop — would be opening soon.
Khao Noodle Shop is indeed on the way. But it's far from the only new Laotian restaurant to debut this season.
Thailao Express debuted in June in far north Dallas, near the intersection of Preston Road and the President George Bush Turnpike. With dine-in tables and a healthy trade in to-go orders, Thailao Express specializes in Thai food, but with a Laotian menu section including staples like spicy papaya salad with "pickled fish sauce," larb, sukiyaki (glass noodle soup with veggies and diner's choice of protein), fried chicken wings and spiced beef jerky.
Two more soups offer comforting slurps when the winter months arrive: khao piak, the Laotian version of chicken noodle, and khao poon, a noodle soup with coconut curry broth.
In Plano, Thanon Laotian Street Food opened just a few weeks ago, with a healthy selection of grilled skewered meats, egg rolls, spring rolls and chicken wings. Thanon, which is currently open for weekday lunches only, also boasts nam khao, the addicting "salad" of crispy rice, herbs and cured pork.
In old East Dallas, Khao Noodle Shop plans to make its debut by the end of September. In May, chef Donny Sirisavath told the Observer he plans to make the restaurant's noodles in-house and incorporate his own cheffy spins on traditional classics.
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“My take on it is not the home cook traditional mom-and-pop recipe, even though a lot of recipes are my mom’s,” Sirisavath said in May. “I’m a chef at heart, and it’s my interpretation of my cuisine, of Mom’s recipe.”
Khao chose its location because East Dallas, especially the area stretching from Mai's Vietnamese to Vietnam Restaurant, was an early settlement point for Laotian, Thai, Cambodian and Vietnamese refugees and immigrants settling in the Dallas area.
Finally, Oak Lawn to-go favorite Sabaidee Lao and Thai Street Food announced on Sept. 9 that it plans to open a second location in Rowlett. The new Sabaidee — currently slated to open in mid-October — will bring the restaurant's superb noodles and garlic-dusted fried pork ribs to a storefront just blocks from downtown Rowlett, off State Highway 66.
Thailao Express, 19129 Preston Road, Dallas
Thanon Laotian Street Food, 6100 K Ave., Plano
Khao Noodle Shop, 4812 Bryan St., Dallas
Sabaidee Lao and Thai Street Food, 5601 President George Bush Turnpike, Rowlett