Owner Vansana Nolintha, who is originally from Laos, says they hope to open in late July or early August. Nolintha, 26, is opening the restaurant with his sister, Vanvisa, 24.
The siblings came to the United States in 1998 to learn English and finish school in Greensboro. From there, Vansana attended N.C. State University, studying chemistry, art and design and world religions. He went on to get a master's degree in peace and conflict studies from Trinity College in Ireland. All of that training led him to food and a desire to open a restaurant that reflects his own personal narrative.
His sister seems appropriately trained to join him after studying hotel and hospitality management at UNC-Greensboro.
So what is Laotian food? Nolintha explains it combines aromatic Southeast Asian ingredients with French technique. It is a cross between Thai and Vietnamese food but was elevated and refined when Laos was a French colony, he explains.
Nolintha plans to use recipes that he learned from his mother and hire a chef to execute them. They will offer a small, seasonal menu.
The restaurant's specific location is 222 S. Blount St., Raleigh.