Even familiar dishes sing their own song here, and quite a few depart from the cookie-cutter Thai-Vietnamese menus of the Bay Area.Yum!
The fried rice ball salad (nam keow) ($5.95) is a good example. A softball of rice stuffed with ham-like preserved pork is deep-fried, then torn up and doused with lime. You wrap pieces, and herbs, in lettuce leaves. The chicken salad ($5.95), a Vietnamese menu standby, is bold and hot, loaded with dark meat, ripped basil leaves, red peppers and thin-sliced onion.
Lao's noodle soup ($4.95 medium/$5.95 large), mild and brothy, fills you up with pencil-thick house-made rice noodles, prawns, fish balls and cuttlefish. The Lue version has the same noodles but a spicy, beefy soup. The red curry with tofu and vegetables ($6.95) is rich with coconut milk but avoids the over-sweetening typical of Americanized Thai food. Portions are generous. And Singha beer is $2 for a 12-ounce bottle.
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