Food from Laos is a rare find in the U.S., which is one of the reasons chef Jeannie Ongkeo secret Lao dinner menu, the only example of homestyle Lao cuisine in New York, is so popular with Southeast Asian food fans. We spent a night cooking with her; here's the cuisine through her eyes.
'lao' on Serious Eats
New York's not in any danger yet of becoming oversaturated with Isan-style Thai restaurants the way it was oversaturated with too many gloppy-pad-thai-and-cashew-chicken spots a few years ago (some would argue that even one such restaurant is an oversaturation), but they're sure becoming more and more prevalent. For lovers of the sticky rice and spicy salad-heavy cuisine, this is a good thing. Since Somtum Der opened a couple months ago, I've been in four times and have tried a good chunk of the menu. Here are my thoughts on the best dishes and what to avoid.
We've been keeping our eyes on Khe-Yo, Soulayphet Schwader's Lao restaurant in Tribeca, and you can expect a review down the line. But right now we're focused its brand new take out sandwich counter, Khe-Yosk, a spare operation selling banh mi dressed up with braised meat and foie gras for $11 apiece.