Bold flavors, thick gravy sauces, cold meat salads and lots of delicious rice and noodle dishes. Lao cuisine juxtaposes cool temperatures and herbs with hot chilies and spice with dishes like the papaya salad or beef larb while also bringing warm, comforting flavors in the form of rich broths and handmade rice noodles.
What to Expect:
While Lao food does share some commonalities with its neighbor Thailand, Lao food has a separate culinary tradition with its own flavor profiles and distinct preparations. Most restaurants in Fort Worth will have a mix of options available on their menus, including Thai and Vietnamese. Look for a Lao section of the menu or ask the waitstaff to point out more traditional Lao options.
5111 N Beach St Suite 180, Fort Worth, TX 76137
The thick yellow bean soy gravy in the Lad Na is a slightly sweet, slightly spicy sauce that coats large flat noodles, beef, vegetables and pickled jalapeños in savory goodness that makes it nearly impossible to leave any leftovers.
Kow Piak Sen
Enjoy a bowl of handmade rice noodles, chicken breast, pork blood, cilantro, scallion, fried garlic and crispy shallot. The warm broth is so flavorful you could drink it on its own, and together with the soft rice noodles, it makes for the perfect comfort food. If you aren’t familiar with pork blood, the texture and flavor are very mild. It’s soft, slightly sweet and has a slightly metallic taste on the back end. Packed with vitamins, animal blood is consumed in a number of ways throughout culinary traditions across the globe.
Asiannights Lao Thai Cuisine & Bar
2905 N Beach St. Fort Worth, TX 76111
This warm seafood soup contains a rich broth with egg, celery, cilantro, greens, lettuce, mussels, shrimp, squid and glass noodles. Refreshing and light, this soup is served with a thick dipping sauce made from shrimp and red bean paste for your proteins. The Sukiyaki is a great option if you don’t care for spicy food.
A cold salad consisting of green papaya shreds, cherry tomatoes, spicy chiles, umami-packed fish sauce topped with crunchy peanuts and pork cracklings is great to enjoy during the warmer months. And while the dish is served cold, the chiles might make you sweat. You can order spice levels 1-5 depending on your preference.
3301 NE28th St. Fort Worth, TX 76111
Fried Lao Sausages
These bright red deep-fried pork sausages are served with a sweet dipping cup of chili sauce and fish sauce, making for an ultra-savory and addicting appetizer.
This cold meat salad contains beef seasoned with ground chilis and spices, roasted ground rice, mint leaves, green onions and cilantro. The mix of cooling herbs with the cold temperature makes this dish a refreshing choice for the summer. I ordered a spice level of 3 and it was comfortably hot.
This crispy rice salad has pork nam (a fermented, semi-raw sausage) grated coconut, chopped peanuts, green onions, cilantro, lime juice and dried chiles. The fried rice is crunchy and addicting and the coconut adds a sweetness that balances the spices from the chilies and the savory fermented sausage.