Since 1975, Lao food has been popping up in the United States, however, it's mostly been by way of Thai restaurants. In recent years, we've started to see more Lao restaurants pop up across the country, and one of the newest is a brilliant showcase of some of Laos' tastiest offerings.
This is Nok's Kitchen, started by Nokmaniphone Sayavong in the early summer of 2022. Sayavong has been around food her whole life, having grown up on her mother's farm in Laos, and started making Lao sausages out of her home in the early days of the pandemic.
By the way, these Lao sausages, according to Lao chef and food ambassador Saeng Douangdara, are some of the best he's ever tried.
Foodbeast was fortunate enough to visit Nok's Kitchen with Douangdara, who gave us not just a primer on the restaurant's menu, but on Lao cuisine in general. Turns out that many Lao classics are on Nok's small yet flavor-packed menu. This includes the vibrant and texture-filled fried rice salad, Nam Khao, a spicy Ribeye Laab salad you won't be able to stop eating, and Khao Piek Sin, a savory Lao udon noodle soup commonly served for breakfast.
If you're in the area, Nok's Kitchen is definitely worth a stop. You can view Douangdara's full breakdown of Nok's Kitchen, and what Lao dishes to order, in the video at the top of this article.
For those seeking to learn about or try more Lao food, Douangdara has a written guide to some of the essential Lao dishes that you can read here as well.