Just south of Rose Garden Restaurant on the bustling 23rd Street corridor of Mexican taquerias and businesses is another outstanding Lao eatery named after a prominent temple in Vientiane, the capital city of Laos. Formerly a grocery store, That Luang Kitchen's menu proudly announces that the demand for their popular papaya salad and other prepared food allowed them to gradually transform their space into a restaurant. You'll often find quail dishes on Lao menus, and they offer up a crispy fried quail appetizer with sweet and sour sauce. Their platter of nam is a mild, gelatinous pork sausage, often included in other dishes (like the aforementioned crispy rice salad from Sue's Kitchen). Be sure to try their red curry with your choice of chicken or fish and Thai eggplant, bamboo shoots, basil and coconut milk. It's light and fragrant, reminiscent of fresh curries you'd find sold by street vendors in Thailand or Laos; soak it up with bites of sticky rice. Another scrumptious entree is the mok pla, catfish steamed in a banana leaf with dill, fish sauce, lime leaves, coconut cream and a side of chili sauce.
That Luang Kitchen Lao Cuisine
1614 23rd St. [Map]
San Pablo, CA 94806
Ph: (510) 232-6265
Hours: Tue-Sun 11am-7pm, closed Mondays
Price range: $ (Entrees $10 and under)