For more than a year, Thai Lao Restaurant in Kingwood has brought Asian-fusion food from the Heights to the Kingwood area. Owner Amy Satsady said she and her mother opened a restaurant at an Asian market in The Heights, fusing Thai and Laotian cuisine.
“We’re pretty popular over there,” Satsady said. “Our dishes are known for being pretty authentic, how we cook at home.”
Satsady said the biggest struggle of her first year in Kingwood has been changing people’s perception of the previous restaurant in her location, Red Curry.
“They weren’t familiar with the Thai-Laos style,” she said. “It was hard for the customers to come. Finally, word of mouth came, you know, ‘Go try this new place; it’s no longer Red Curry.’ And they like the taste of how we cook our food.”
Satsady said her family is from the border of Thailand and Laos, and the food at the restaurant reflects the blended cultures of the two countries.
“I speak Laos more, but Mom is fluent in both Thai and Laos, which are like sisters,” Satsady said. “Some of the food we have here—I would say it’s more authentic because however I cook it is how I make it here.”
The most famous Thai dish is pad thai, a stir-fried rice noodle dish, Satsady said. She said most people will order the dish when they first come in because they are unfamiliar with the more Laos-style food, such as bamboo soup or crisp rice with a fermented pork sausage known as som moo.
Although there were a few bumps in the road in the early months, Satsady said she feels confident going into her second year.
“A couple people came in and were like, ‘Oh my god. I even went to Thailand, but you guys are so good.’ It makes you want to push like, I’m doing something right,” Satsady said. “It makes you feel like you want to keep going. I don’t want to give up.”
Thai Lao Restaurant
1578 Kingwood Drive, Kingwood
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 5-9 p.m.; Sat. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; closed Sun.