*Please note that there is not an outright stand-alone Laos restaurant in all of New York City. However, you can still try the cuisine of Laos at select Thai restaurants that serve "Esan" (sometimes spelled "Isan") dishes. Esan is the area in the northeastern part of Thailand with strong cultural and gastronomic leanings to Laos. My favorite place in the city to try Esan dishes is Chao Thai in Elmhurst. Chao Thai is also one of my very favorite Thai restaurants in the city period.

Esan dishes at Chao Thai include; Esan Thai sour sausage, the sausage is huge and yes, very sour, "kai yang" (grilled chicken), "som tam" (green papaya salad) and "larb" (meat salad). I especially love larb, it being either of grilled pork or chicken cooked with thai herbs, chili and roasted rice. The photo above is of pork larb. This is a dish that is spicy, and if requested can be fire-like in taste.

Chao Thai is a tiny restaurant with six tables and unless you go at an off hour, it is always jammed, mostly with Thai-nationals. This only adds to the color and authenticity of the place. There is virtually no decoration on the walls, but the big-time success of the ten year old restaurant is in the fantastic food!

Address -8503 Whitney Avenue              (718) 424 - 4999