Laotian Meat Sticks from Ratchada

Recently, Ratchada replaced Cafe de Laos on 11th and Washington. New owners,  but thankfully still serving Laotian food, which is scarce in this city. The already attractive interior has been spruced up a bit more. Ratchada offers a classier experience that might appeal to those seeking something other than the cafeteria like experience a la Pho Ha and others.

The most Laotian food seemed to be placed in the appetizer section. I shared an appetizer combo for $15 which is perfect for 2 or 3 people. This included a fishy papaya salad in the middle, which I did not touch after the first bite. Crunchy spring rolls were better, actually better than many spring rolls I have had. I love Laotian sausage. While I recall the version from Cafe de Laos being a little more balanced, Ratchada’s are still worth getting- its like tom yum soup injected into cased meat, how could you not want that. The jerky was the winner; chewy meat twigs with strong lemongrass and chili flavors. I wish I had some at my desk to snack on.

Lunch specials ($8) are all Thai, rather than Laotian, and come with a soup and an entree. My tofu tom yum soup was generously filled with vegetables. The fragrant massaman curry came in a small bowl with a side of rice.  The beef inside (you have the option of pork, chicken, or tofu) was the tiniest bit chewy, but the flavor of the curry was nice. There are not a lot of choices for the lunch specials, so its worth it to do what I did and supplement with something more exciting from the regular menu.

THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • I want to try Laotian food
  • Laotian sausage and beef jerky is awesome
  • $8 for a soup and entree

THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • No Laotian lunch specials/ Not enough Laotian food on the menu

Ratchada, 1117 S 11th St, 215 467-1546



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