The Lao-Vientiane Restaurant opened a few weeks ago near where I work, and since then I have seen a lot of it’s take out being brought into the office. Today I finally caved and gave it a try for lunch.
Located in Gateway Village (near the intersection of Vernon Ave and Ravine Way) this restaurant cooks up authentic Lao food, which is a unique south asian cuisine, and is said to be strongly influenced by Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese and French cooking.
The menu is large and offers a lot of choice. I liked that they had two lunch special sections: Lunch Specials and Lunch Combinations, the difference being that the combinations include 2 spring rolls, a side of steamed rice, and a serving of salad.
I ordered A. Gang Phed ($8.99) under the lunch combinations. This dish includes a meat of your choice (chicken, pork, or beef) with bamboo shoots, red pepper, eggplant, coconut milk, and fresh basil leaves in red curry, served with sticky rice and a side of salad. You also can choose between Vegetable or Pork Spring rolls (add $1 more). I opted to substitute the meat for tofu and chose medium spice. It was delicious! The spring rolls were thicker than traditional Thai spring rolls, crunchier and seemed to be less oily. The salad had a tasty light dressing and it was a generous portion. I thoroughly enjoyed the red curry, mixing it with the sticky rice, and I even have enough left for my lunch tomorrow.
Listening to the chatter in the lunch room, many of the “foodie” types felt that this restaurant, while good food, wasn’t the best they’ve ever had. Personally, I thought it was delicious and I wouldn’t hesitate to return or recommend it to anyone looking to try something a little different. The restaurant is a decent size and if you’re ordering take-out like I did, they had it ready for me within 10-minutes of placing the order (granted I ordered at noon on a Wednesday afternoon). I’ll definitely be going back!
701-771 Vernon Ave