Lao Food in LA and Beyond

From the NYT:


Vientiane is like the best restaurant in the entire world. Glad that Nok’s Kitchen got a mention. Kop Jai Lai is very good. Never really thought much of Kra Z Kai’s. Felt this way on Tuesday:


Kra-z doesn’t use padek which I am guessing to appease the crowds who don’t appreciate the flavors and complexities of fermented fish.

agree re Vientiane. Destination restaurant for sure

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I don’t get to Orange County much, but sadly, once drove right by Vientiane on my way to another nearby restaurant I had to go to.

I love Kop Jai Lai, which is closer to me than any other unique international option. Though I have to admit their mok pla, while fine and using catfish (as it should), pales compared to the sublime version I had at the fairly short-lived A&J Kitchen in El Monte. That was such a good place, and really nice folks. Shame it didn’t make it.

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Sounds like Vientiane is a must, but I want to visit Nok’s kitchen too. Is there a way to get the best dishes from both places and what are good for Togo from them after dining in? I don’t get to go down to OC very often so I must check them both out, maybe :thinking:


Nok’s is best known for their fermented pork sausages, which they actually sell packaged versions of as well. If you can make sticky rice at home go for it when you cook the sausages. In only one trip, I would eat everything else at Vientiane at a big sit down meal.

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Roger that, I must save room for Vientiane. What are your must have personally? I might dine solo, try a bit of everything and Togo a bunch.

*Nvm I found this Vientiane Thai Laos Restaurant | Eat the World Los Angeles :tada::tada::tada:

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Khao Poon (noodle soup). Larb (get at least 2) and sticky rice. Nam Khao Tod (crispy fried rice). Khua Mee Lao( stir fry noodles).

Papaya salad Lao-style if you can handle padek. Super funky FYI.

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I love Lao style papaya salad. Thank you so much for the order list! I will eat well.

Mine as well pickup some Vietnamese since you are in Little Saigon, or at least sugarcane drinks at Cococane and sua da at Phin Smith.


I’ll pick up Frozen Bánh Nậm & Bánh Lọc to steam at home :sweat_smile:

@EattheWorldLA I tried the holy Trinity app + 1! Everything hit just right!

Papaya salad Lao-style, sticky rice and Lao Sausage

Fish cake

The only downside was I want to eat 10 more things on their menu but having just one person was super rough. I might need a clone & grow some children from thin air somehow for my next meal!

*It was my meal number 2 out of 3 that morning and was the best meal that day & in SoCal for years :sob: I should just have eaten there solely and forget about the rest like you said.

@JeetKuneBao there was one noteworthy Vietnamese dish I had that day: Bánh Nậm from Hue Oi Vietnamese Cuisine. Have you tried this?

The texture, filling and thickness is much better from the rest in OC. Speaking from profession experience eating this for science my whole life lol

Hue Oi Vietnamese Cuisine
(714) 531-1305


That banh nam looks so thin and supple!

It was so darn good Banh Nam @attran99 they have frozen one to steam at home as well, same price with the steam one on the menu. I tried Ngu Binh and other spots but nothing can compare the Banh Nam above, haha.

This is the baseline standard around OC for comparison


Looks like I’m going there next chance I get! Thanks, @Armillaria!

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Take me with you, and can we enroute to Vientiane after you eat more legit tasty things!!!

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I’m considering going to Vientiane today (the restaurant not the city, which I don’t recommend). “Best restaurant in the world” praise is hard to ignore! [deleted]

By the way, someone is sure to correct me, but I’m not sure there’s any major distinction between Isaan food (which we have lots of in LA) and Lao food.

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The Lao style papaya salad with sticky rice and sausage or fried fish balls combo is a trio must have. I haven’t tried the larbs but heard good thing about it. Wish I could come down :sob: all I want is extra humans to eat everything on the appetizer and salads menu with :sweat_smile:

Their food stay well as Togo so don’t worry about over ordering. Some of the big soup/hot pot things look good but I only has one person, never got to try them :sweat_smile:

Go early to avoid rush time. They’re very popular during lunch hours

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Forget my post. I was accidentally looking at the menu of a restaurant called Vientiane in Sacramento.

I’m totally going tonight.

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