Our mission is to shine the spotlight on Laos and share our story, culture, and cuisine. We strive to make it where Laos is no longer the forgotten Asian country. Historically, the food of Laos has received little attention compared to its neighboring cousins of Thailand and Vietnam. However, this is changing as our society becomes open to new cuisines and the media brings more attention to Laos. World renowned chef and global traveler Anthony Bourdain shined the long overdue light on Laos (including the Hmong) when it was featured on his show "Parts Unknown" (See videos below). From the Lao people, we thank you Anthony Bourdain.
We are a culture full of family, love, spirits, laughter and hard work. All of this is culminated in our food. The Lao cuisine is traditionally served family style for everyone to communally reach for the delicious dishes with sticky rice. A nice shot of cognac will usually accompany our meal, too! Lao cuisine is vibrant and packed with fresh herbs and the natural spices of chilis. The combination of ingredients is absolutely mouthwatering and guaranteed to excite your taste buds!
So our new friends and family, we invite you to "ma der, ma der" (come eat) and enjoy the rich Lao cuisine. We welcome you with open arms!
We wanted to share our family's story as we begin our journey to share the Lao cuisine with you. The history of Laos and the plight of refugees during the 1970s is relatively unknown to many. Along with thousands of other families, our parents escaped Laos after war tore through the country and the Communist government came to power. They left their home and all their belongings behind and sought refuge by crossing the Mekong River and arriving at a refugee camp in Thailand. Although they lost everything, they were blessed to have each other, their safety, and their unwavering love for their culture.
After being in the refugee camp for about two years, our parents with two toddlers arrived in the United States in 1980 with only a few dollars in their hands and the inability to speak the English language. They were nervous of this unknown culture but were ready to embrace their new world.
Our parents were fortunate to form a Lao community when they met other Lao refugees, but they wanted to continue to spread their wings. They stepped outside of their comfort zone and immersed themselves in the US culture to become close friends with their American neighbors. Although language was a barrier at times, both sides shared a connection that was filled with acceptance and a mutual willingness to learn about one another's cultures. This connection evolved into a beautiful friendship. Our mom always showed her love and generosity by sharing Lao dishes with her new American friends and teaching them about the Lao culture. I can't recall a time when our mom wasn't in the kitchen cooking for others.
Our beautiful mother passed in 2015, but her love and memories live on. We especially feel her presence when we are around a dining table surrounded by family and friends and enjoying classic Lao dishes. We know she's right there eating with us and drinking a shot of cognac with the family. She had such a passion for cooking, and it gave her great joy to see others enjoying her culinary creations. She always dreamed of opening a restaurant.
Mom, this is for you. We hope to make you proud.