DALLAS (CBSNEWS.COM) – An editor spent months eating her way across the country and now Bon Appétit magazine has come out with their list of the country’s 10 best new restaurants… spoiler alert a Dallas eatery is in the Top 2.
Bon Appétit listed the Khao Noodle Shop in Dallas as the second hottest new restaurant in the country.
If you’re thinking haute couture attire, a sommelier on staff and string quartets playing as you dine by candlelight think again, the Khao Noodle Shop is in a strip mall on Bryan Street in Old East Dallas. The folks at Bon Appétit say great food and a great story are far more important.
Bon Appétit deputy editor Julia Kramer told CBS This Morning that she was blown away by the noodle shop. “Dallas is a city that doesn’t typically get a lot of love from the food world,” she said. “But this year we named it our restaurant city of the year because of places like Khao, that are chef-driven, very unique, concepts that you can’t find anywhere else.”
Khao’s chef, Donny Sirisavath, is the first Laotian restaurant to make the Hot 10. “The Dallas food scene 10 years ago was all about steaks, potato, big portions,” he said. “We take it back to where now it’s more farm to table. We’re trying to introduce people to Laotian food.”
Sirisavath said his mother, who passed away eight years ago, was his primary culinary influence. “When I was like four years old, cooking in the kitchen with my mom, my mom once told me ‘in order for people to understand about a culture, is through food.”
You won’t get tired reading through the menu — there are only about a dozen items to choose from. And while you won’t find Texas-sized portions, the dishes won’t take a big bite out of your bank account because none costs more than $8.
When devouring one dish Kramer said, “After one slurp of painstakingly handmade noodles in a savory, complex pork blood broth, the restaurant’s roots came through clearly: This is the cooking of Laos, the country the chef’s mother fled after its civil war before resettling in Texas in 1977.”
And while Kramer said the Khao Noodle Shop is “rooted in family and place” she said it isn’t an establishment that only looks to the past. “Once I tried the deep-fried tripe chicharrones and the musubi-like moutsayhang (a two-bite stack of crispy pork patty, sticky rice, and a thin layer of omelet), it was clear that Sirisavath was telling a story all his own.”
To select the Hot 10, Kramer had more than 200 meals in 30 cities across the country. Here is Bon Appétit’s full list:
1. Konbi (Los Angeles)
2. Khao Noodle Shop (Dallas)
3. Longoven (Richmond)
4. Ochre Bakery (Detroit)
5. The Elysian Bar (New Orleans)
6. Kopitiam (New York)
7. Tailor (Nashville)
8. Le Comptoir du Vin (Baltimore)
9. Matt’s BBQ Tacos (Portland)
10. The Wolf’s Tailor (Denver)