Frisco's Sweet Rice mixes Thai restaurant scene with authentic Lao dishes

Lao Platter ($25.99)nwith Papaya Salad ($8.99):  Beef jerky, lao sausage, pork riblets and a side of sticky rice. The papaya salad is comprised of shredded green papaya with tomatoes, carrots, green beans, chili and garlic.

Lao Platter ($25.99)nwith Papaya Salad ($8.99): Beef jerky, lao sausage, pork riblets and a side of sticky rice. The papaya salad is comprised of shredded green papaya with tomatoes, carrots, green beans, chili and garlic.

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Sweet Rice-Thai Spicy Basil
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Sweet Rice-Nam Khao
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Von Linavong

Thai food restaurants are not in short supply in the Frisco area. But Von Linavong’s Thai and Lao spot, Sweet Rice, offers a cuisine many may not be familiar with.

“Thai is the more well-known cuisine,” Linavong said. “We also wanted to integrate the Lao food, which is not as well-known.”

Linavong is Lao, and he has wanted for a long time to get into the restaurant business and share authentic Lao dishes. He snagged the opportunity last year after opening Sweet Rice in April 2018.

Sweet Rice’s Lao dishes include kao, lao sausage and jerky, sticky rice and traditional soups.

“There are some customers who are not used to certain items,” he said. “It’s got a bolder taste than regular Thai food.”

Along with Lao dishes, the restaurant serves well-known, traditional Thai plates and drinks, such as stir-fry, fried rice, stir-fried noodles and Thai iced tea.

Mina Sourignavong, also known as Chef Mina, runs the Frisco location’s kitchen, Linavong said. Sourignavong often comes up with new menu items as well.

Sourignavong said she begins a typical morning by preparing soups, rice, vegetables and meat—all from scratch, Linavong added.

Sticky rice, which Linavong describes as a more glutinous rice as compared to jasmine rice, is popular among customers.

“Lao people, we eat that sticky rice with every dish,” Linavong said. “We take a bite of the sausage, and then we add the rice.”

Sweet Rice now has two locations outside of Frisco, one of which was opened by Linavong’s nephew. Linavong said he first chose Frisco because of a lack of Thai restaurants on the west side of the city at the time.

“I thought it would be a good opportunity for us to be the first Thai and Lao restaurant in the community,” Linavong said.

Sweet Rice’s customer base includes the nearby Frisco Lakes retirement community and nearby neighborhoods, Linavong said.

Linavong said he hopes to open another location in uptown Dallas in the near future. As Sweet Rice looks to expand into Dallas and grow its current locations, he said one of the biggest factors for continued growth will be selling customers on the uniqueness of Lao food.

“If you’re someone who wants to try different things, then you might enjoy it,” Linavong said.

Sweet Rice
252 West Stonebrook Parkway, Ste. 640, Frisco

Mon.-Thu. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Fri. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Sat. noon-10 p.m.
Sun. noon-9 p.m.

By Elizabeth Ucles

Elizabeth is the reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's Frisco edition. She graduated from St. Edward's University with a degree in Writing and Rhetoric with a journalism concentration and a minor in Spanish in May 2019. Elizabeth covers public and higher education, development and transportation.


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