Na Thong

Located in the hinterlands of south Santa Rosa Avenue, Na Thong is too good a secret not to let BiteClubbers in on. Sandwiched between a coffee/BBQ shop and a tattoo parlor in, er, a rather colorful part of town the month-old restaurant is serving up some solid Laotian and Thai cuisine to those intrepid enough to find it.

The menu has a number of familiar favorites (egg rolls, satay, tom kha gai soup, pho and pad thai), but what really got my attention were the not-so-familiar items like crispy deep fried quail ($7.95), yum talay (calamari, mussels, scallops and prawsn with lemon grass, citrus leaves, onion, mint leaves and roasted rice with smoked chili sauce, $9.95); and a tamarind-infused peanut curry (kang musmun, $8.95). Laotian-style dishes like shredded green papaya salad ($6.95) and several larb dishes (larb is the national dish of Laos, and is usually made from minced meat–duck, beef, pork or chicken–mixed with spices like lemon grass, mint, onion and chili sauce.) Plus, green, yellow and two types of red curry.

Though the spot isn’t fancy, service is attentive and gracious with attention to small details–ornate rice serving bowls, attractive dishware and little plastic flowers on each table. Not the kind of thing you usually find in this neck of the woods.

Need more incentive? Sticky rice, warm peanut sauce and Thai karaoke Thursday through Saturday nights.

Na Thong, 3446 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa, 707.206.0884