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Nov 22, 2009 11:35 AM

Anyone up for group chowhound dining/winebar expeditions in upcoming weeks?


Salut, everyone. I am in Paris until Dec. 18 and wonder if anyone else would like to organize chowhoundish excursions to try some new places. I am more chowhound than foodie, in the sense that the quality comes first and I am not thrilled about huge expenses that will destroy my budget (although I am well aware of Paris prices). I am most interested in some of the winebars, in exploring Laotian in chinatown, and in good bistros off the beaten track. But I am open to other suggestions. It's always more fun to have fellow chowhounds as dining partners (I am a regular reader of the Washington/Baltimore board) and also to get a fuller impression of a given place.

I will generally be free more in the late afternoons and evenings. We can figure out how to organize this if there is interest.

  1. These things are usually organized off board. It is useful to put your email address in your profile so interested hounds can contact you. Schtroumphette just organized a great hound outing to Jacques Genin - all arranged via email -->

    1 Reply
    1. re: shortstop

      Sounds good--I've updated my profile. Let me know!

    2. I'm available, but more during the day (baby in the evening).

      Let us know about Laotian in Chinatown -- I'd be curious.

      Had a really nice lunch today at Mme Shawn's new outlet -- It's called Ari Mme Shawn, and it's lovely.

      9 Replies
      1. re: souphie

        "Laotian in Chinatown"

        My fave is Lao Siam on rue Belleville. Beef salad, quail fried in its own weight in garlic, casserole de vermicelles transparentes in crab goo, and a psychedelic dessert that the owner calls "3 Colors".

        1. re: Parigi

          I've never been to Paris before, but I've heard great things about the Laotian food at Lao Siam. If you've got any photos of their dishes, please share them with us. I'd like to compare Laotian food in France to the ones that are prepared here in the U.S. =)

          1. re: Parigi

            Lao Siam is actually one of the places I am interested in. It is always identified as Thai, which raises an interesting question: what are the differences between Laotian and Thai in terms of restaurants in Paris? That there are historical and linguistic divisions between the two is one thing, but how is that reflected in these eateries?

            Another possibility: Lao Viet, 24 bd Massena, 13e. Métro Porte-d'Ivry (east on boulevard Massena ). Tél. 01 45 84 05 43. It's closed Tuesdays.

            1. re: mdavidf

              I'm not aware of any "pure" Lao restaurant in Paris, and anyway, their (food) culture have more than a few things in common.
              Only Lao-ish restaurant I've tried in Paris is Lao Lane Xang 2, I've been twice, it's good, and their version of the typical dishes are not too watered-down.

              1. re: olivierb

                It is interesting to see how the "political" borders correspond to the food styles. north east Thailand (Isarn) and Laos share a long border and a lot of the food as obviously ingredients etc are similar on the Laos/Thai border. I would assume it would be common for a good Laotian restaurant to have Isarn dishes but it would be a bit odd to have southern Thai dishes (i.e. those with lots of coconut milk etc).

                1. re: olivierb

                  Second that Olivier, it's terrific, Laotian but a bit more broadly SouthEast Asian. I love it, esp on a Sunday with kids.

                  1. re: John Talbott

                    As a parisian taxi diver (of "Indo-Chineese origin") recently told me, "Viietnam, Laos, Cambodia, it's the same thing" - the frontiers between these countries were established arbitrarily, and often in unhappy circumstances. When you add to that the fact that many Vitenamese and Cambodians living in Paris are from the said countries, but are of Chinese stock, it's difficult to establish ethnic, let alone culinary borders.

                    Saying that, if you know how to manoeuvre around the very lengthy meni, I agree Lao Siam on the rue de Belleville is very good, though for full-on laotian, and with a short and prceise menu, Minh Chau, on rue de la Verrerie, just behind the BHV, is fantastic for freshness and price.

                    1. re: vielleanglaise

                      Its not the same thing at all. As someone who lives in laos and who is married to a laos, I can tell you that Lao cusine is quite different to Khmer and Vietnamese.

                      1. re: RonfromLaos

                        Thank you. Lao, Vietnamese, and Cambodian cuisines are not the same. I wish more people would go to SE Asia to learn about the cuisines of that region instead of lumping them all into a single cuisine. It's almost like some people who aren't from SE Asia have created their own perception of what is Lao, Thai, Vietnamese, or Cambodian cuisine. They're now spreading their false perception of SE Asian cuisines to their peers and it's going to be an uphill battle trying to get them to see otherwise.

          2. We've split off a tangent about defining Southeast Asian cuisines to the General Topics board. You can find it here: Please confine your posts in this thread to discussion of Parisian restaurants, and take any general discussion of SE Asian cuisine to the split-off thread linked here. General discussion posted here will be removed.

            1. Since the poster has updated his profile with his contact information, we'd ask that people touch base via email rather than planning get togethers here on the site.