The chef behind Thip Khao in Columbia Heights is expanding her empire
Chef Seng Luangrath of lauded Lao restaurant Thip Khao in Columbia Heights is expanding and revamping her D.C. restaurant empire.
Why it matters: Luangrath, a Laotian refugee who came to the U.S. in the early '80s, opened D.C.’s first Lao restaurant more than a decade ago and pioneered a #LaoFoodMovement across the country, which supports and promotes the oft-underrepresented Southeast Asian cuisine.
Yes, but: The 53-year-old chef, entrepreneur, and mother isn’t afraid to innovate and experiment — and changes in her family-run group reflect new styles of dining and cooking.
🍜 Padaek, chef Seng’s tiny original restaurant in Falls Church, will morph into an even more casual spot called Met Khao with a pared-down menu of noodle and rice dishes, curries, and some all-time Lao and Thai favorites. ETA: June.
🐟 Padaek 2.0, a brand-new Lao restaurant with more seating and an outdoor patio will soft-open in South Arlington in mid-to-late June. Much of Luangrath’s original menu will migrate, though she also plans to showcase regional Thai dishes and Burmese specials from her executive sous chef, Nyi Nyi Myint.
- The new restaurant gives chef Seng a private event space for the first time, which she plans to use for semi-regular tasting dinners.
🍺Hanumanh in Shaw, which intermittently opened and closed as a cocktail bar and pop-up space since its debut before the pandemic, will officially reopen as Baan Mae this summer.
- Instead of cocktails, the menu will focus on beer and wine — plus non-alcoholic options such as smoothies and bubble drinks — and Southeast Asian eats, especially Vietnamese.
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