Chowdown report: Wat Lao Saysettha of Santa Rosa 12/8/12
Six hounds gathered, all veterans of previous chowdowns at the Wat Lao Sayettha budhist temple. The celebration this weekend was in honor of an old and revered temple in Laos, Pha That Luang.
My favorite dish was Kanom Kak, a coconut rice pancake, they were toasty on the outside and creamy on the inside. They made me think of a toasted coconut marshmallow.
The grilled Lao sausage was also particularly good on Saturday.
Khao Mun Kai - steamed chicken on rice may sound bland but not when they serve it with chicken skin, cucumber, herbs and a tasty (and HOT) sauce.
Dishes on the menu that have already been reviewed several times:
Khao Piak - rice noodle soup
Sticky rice with taro
And illustrating the influence of other cuisines on Lao food:
Chicken Satay with peanut sauce
I think we all bought food to take home. It really is that good.
What did the rest of the group think?
Previous chowdowns at Wat Lao Saysettha
I really enjoyed the sausages served this time. I got a frozen large ziplock to take home. They were better in flavor and texture than any I've bought at local markets. There were some nice chunks of fat in the sausages and they were grilled quite nicely.
My favorite was actually the dish of leftovers the women of the temple had made with the scrapings from the pork shoulder they ground for use in the wantons. It was pork and eggplant in a lemongrass based paste.
I also ordered a raw laab, bitter (which I think comes from bile, but am not sure), as I am usually steered away from this version of the dish at restaurants, either by tablemates or by the waitresses (where it is less of a steering and more of a refusal or substitution) so I thought I'd take this opportunity to give it a try. It was quite bitter, but the balance of flavors was appealing, especially when eaten with the sticky rice. I still had leftovers the next evening, so I decided to cook it and it was much less bitter. After cooking, I felt it needed a bit of lime juice.