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Apr 22, 2012 09:05 PM

Nam Kao Tod in Bay Area?

Had a chance to go to Lotus of Siam on a recent stop in Las Vegas, and was absolutely blown away by it (far better than Lers Ros IMO, would be curious if anyone else has been to both and can make a comparison).

Anyway, I was sure to order their signature dish, nam kao tod (crispy rice with Lao sausage) and it was every bit as amazing as I had hoped.

Yelp mentions a few places on international boulevard in oakland (not surprising, given the lao community); does anyone know of other places i can get this?

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  1. Champa Garden

    Chai Thai

    Vientian Cafe

    All in Oakland. None are quite as crispy as the version at Lotus. I like them all.

    2 Replies
    1. re: lexdevil

      Good to know LoS is still killing it - haven't been back to Vegas in years, but I'd go back for Lotus, not all the other stuff people seem to make Vegas trips for.

      Tried going to Vientian Cafe recently, but they were closed! Was somewhat confused, but after reading Melanie's post on the Santa Rosa Lao new year's festival, I figured they were closed for the holiday. Will have to try again soon.

      1. re: Spatlese

        They did have a sign up that they were going to be closed for the Lao fest when we went on the 13th...

    2. Has anyone tried this at Chabaa Thai in SF? They have Nam Kao listed on their "secret menu" - it's listed as "Naem salad with crispy rice" - I think it's Nam Kao...

      Here's link to an article from 2010:

      Chabaa Thai Cuisine
      2123 Irving St.
      San Francisco CA 94122

      4 Replies
      1. re: RWCFoodie

        Not crunchy enough for me, but Chabaa's house made sour sausage is pretty sour. Noticeably funkier than other places.

        1. re: sfbing

          sfbing: would like to taste their sour sausage but as far as the rice ball part of it, if it's not crunchy enough for you - have you had it at Vientian or any of the others mentioned? If so, how do they compare?

          1. re: RWCFoodie

            I've had it at champa, and vientiane. I think Vientiane is my favorite for the rice ball salad. I'm not really sure it should be that crunchy, although that is my preference. Most every place I've been to hasn't been that crunchy--and it is not like it is that hard to make it crunchy since it is basically deep frying, which makes me think that the Lao prefer it softer. I mention the sour sausage b/c it is a pretty important component of nem kao.

            Unfortunately, I think Green Papaya and That Luang make other dishes better than Vientiane with less MSG and salt. But vientiane has a lot of unusual things. Chabaa is a little more expensive than I am used to for lao food, but it is the only place in the city. Focus on the cured and grilled meats if you go to chabaa.

            I've also seen nem kao at the Berkeley Thai temple and at the SSF temple.

            1. re: sfbing

              Thanks again: nem kao is practically an obsession with me... Have had the Champa version but it has been a number of years; I recall loving it. Also loved it at a recent visit to Vientian but honestly don't remember there being any sausage sour or otherwise in it. It satisfied the craving at least for a little while.

              I still crave the version at LOS - my first experience with this dish - and you know how "first times" are :-)

      2. Chai Thai Noodle on International Blvd has the dish you're talking about. They have it as an appetizer (think it was $7-8). It was good but it was my first time with the dish and I haven't had it since so I have no basis for comparison sorry!