Vientiane Thai Laos Restaurant is probably one of the most typical “hole-in-a-wall” type restaurants I have ever been in. It is located in a plaza at Garden Grove, CA with many different small shops nearby that are open or out of business. Consequently, many people wouldn’t be able to notice this place unless they were a local or have heard about it through word of mouth. Thankfully, my old man knew about this place so we decided to hit this joint up over the summer.
This restaurant is a Laos cuisine style place. Even though it says Thai in the title, they are really a Laos place. They just use the ‘Thai’ for marketing.
If you have never had Laos food just think of Thai, but spicier and flavorful. Both of these cuisines go hand-to-hand, but you do really taste a difference if you eat them long enough. Therefore, we were glad to find a spot that actually matched our type of food at home.
As you go inside, you see how uneventful the decor is. It is your typical simplistic South East Asian restaurant look. Just mirrors, paintings you find at flea markets, and cheap tables you buy at warehouses. To some this may not be pleasing, but to me it shows this place is all about business and that is the food. When I enter an Asian restaurant I want the place to look simple or dull because usually it means they put more investment in their food. If the place is bright and has fancy decorations, I always worry.
The dish above is Raw Larb. Basically, it is raw meat. A lot may be disgusted with the idea of eating raw meat, but honestly it is really good. The peppers, spices, veggies, and sauce mixed is what makes this really good. Add in some sticky rice then you are golden. Highly recommend it to people who are open to new types of food.
In this dish is some Spicy Frog. Similar to the raw larb, the sauce mixed in this dish is what makes it good. The meat is chewy and very tasty. The only problem I have with it is the meat portion. It, honestly, is very limited and kind of disappointing. Sadly, I am big on quantity and I just left this dish feeling ‘eh’.
Now this is basically the same as the Raw Larb dish, but cooked. Similar to that dish, the mixture and chemistry of different things involved makes it good. I recommend this to the folks who are scared of too much change, but wants to go a little outside their box. Again, eat this bad boy with some sticky rice and you will be golden.
Intestines soup. Self-explanatory. Just eat it.
Probably one of my all-time favorite Laos food in the world, Papaya Salad. Generally, it is a spicy dish that gives you a good kick to the nostrils. Think of it as the wasabi of Lao food. Some of you may have had this before, but you also might have had the Thai version. The Thai version is very sour and is blah to me. This Lao dish makes sure you leave every bite with an aftertaste to remember. Thankfully, this place does this dish justice and makes it to its purest form. Get this if you are in the area.
Overall, I loved this place. Commonly, I get these dishes at home, but I was still glad to have this on vacation. If you are in the SoCal area and have been looking for a Laos restaurant, this is your place. Get some good homemade food and drink some BeerLao.
10262 Westminster Ave
Garden Grove, CA 92843
Mon-Thu 11 am – 9 pm
Fri-Sat 10 am – 10 pm
Sun 10 am – 9 pm