All the food writers and food forums have been talking about Bangkok Golden in Seven Corners lately. The secret Laotian menu now is handed out with the Thai menu for the non-buffet customers. Since the region is teeming with Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese restaurants, the addition of a Laotian menu is remarkable for its uniqueness. Described as a melding of Thai and Vietnamese flavors with a higher spice intensity, I was eager to try some of the recommended dishes.
While the address is 6395 Seven Corners Center, directions from our iphones let us down. Easiest way to find the restaurant is to look for Hong Kong Palace (which also owns Uncle Liu's hot pot restaurant), and Bangkok Golden is three storefronts to the left.
Nam Khao ($8.95)
Crispy Rice Salad with a fantastic textural composition. Vibrant cilantro and fresh herbs, mixed with crispy rice, peanuts, red onion, shredded coconut, lime and a gentle heat/chili.
Wrap in a lettuce leaf and eat with your hands.
Larb Kai ($9.95)
Minced chicken seasoned with Kaffir lime leaves, fragrant toasted rice powder, shallots, garlic, green onion, red pepper, cilantro, mint. A little sweeter and sour rather than spicy. Bright and fresh flavors.
Moak Fish ($8.95)
Steamed Banana Leaf-Wrapped Tilapia with a curry and coconut sauce.
Somehow we missed ordering any dish that had an abundance of chili heat which I had been looking forward to testing out. I enjoyed the prevalence of fresh herbs and lettuce leaves to wrap the different dishes in. The sticky rice was described as tasting like mochi by my boyfriend, and he's right. This rice would be excellent with some fresh mango and coconut milk. I'm planning a return trip with some friends, and hopefully we'll try a Koi (ceviche-esque fish), Orm (stew) and the Papaya salad. The dining room is on the small-side, but the service was pleasant, and it's definitely worth a visit.