BiteClub, PopUp

Thai Like You’ve Never Tasted at Sebastopol Pop-Up

Ramen Gaijin's owners are trying something a little different at their Sebastopol restaurant

Sebastopol’s Ramen Gaijin will host another pop-up concept later this month called Khom Loi, featuring regional Thai cooking.

Owners Matthew Williams and Moishe Hahn-Shuman — who started their ramen shop as a pop-up several years ago at Woodfour Brewing—just announced the event, which will take place later this month. Inspired by travels in Northern Thailand and Laos, the food will focus on Chiang Mai and nearby Laos, with nods to Central and Southern Thailand.

Unlike the recent Mexican street food pop-up, Khom Loi (which translates as ‘floating lantern’) is a project of Williams Hahn-Shuman — meaning that if all goes well Khom Loi could you know, maybe become a new restaurant. Maybe. Cocktail ninjas Matt Berger and Scott Beattie will be creating Thai-inspired beverages to pair with the menu.

We’re stoked because Thai cuisine seems to have gone the way of Chinese food — becoming rather bland, Americanized imitations of itself. When we mentioned this to Williams, with a bitter lament over ketchupy pad Thai and peanut butter sauce, he laughed knowingly, “It’s nothing like that,” he said.

More details coming soon, or go to ramengaijin.com.

Subscribe Now!

Comments

3 thoughts on “Thai Like You’ve Never Tasted at Sebastopol Pop-Up

  1. As a five-time traveler to Thailand I can tell you that we will never have truly authentic-tasting Thai food in Sonoma County (okay we get *kind of* close with Janthong Banbua, but that’s as close as we get).

    The reason? It’s simple. The clientele here is overwhelmingly Caucasian, and Thai restauranteurs are invariably terrified that if they were to make the food super flavorful—not even with chilis but with proper amounts of aromatic herbs (lemongrass, galanga, kaffir lime leaf—the poor sensitive customers will not be able to handle it and will run screaming from the restaurant, never to return. So they water everything down and use pathetically small amounts of the very ingredients they should be using lots of (as they would if they were in San Francisco or Thailand).

    In The City, many customers are Thai, or Chinese, or Vietnamese, so the proprietors aren’t afraid to make it the way they should. But here in Wine Country we will always get “Pablum Thai Food.”

  2. As a five-time traveler to Thailand I can tell you that we will never have truly authentic-tasting Thai food in Sonoma County (okay we get *kind of* close with Janthong Banbua, but that’s as close as we get).

    The reason? It’s simple. The clientele here is overwhelmingly Caucasian, and Thai restauranteurs are invariably terrified that if they were to make the food super flavorful—not even with chilis but with proper amounts of aromatic herbs (lemongrass, galanga, kaffir lime leaf—the poor sensitive customers will not be able to handle it and will run screaming from the restaurant, never to return. So they water everything down and use pathetically small amounts of the very ingredients they should be using lots of (as they would if they were in San Francisco or Thailand).

    In The City, many customers are Thai, or Chinese, or Vietnamese, so the proprietors aren’t afraid to make it the way they should. But here in Wine Country we will always get “Pablum Thai Food.”

  3. YES! Let’s please, please, please have great Thai food in Sonoma County. We have been looking for Thai places that have similar dishes of what we ate in Thailand this January and can’t find many comparisons.

    There’s a couple “good” places in the County (If I name one, I “should” name 4; so I won’t); but only one place serves “Kao Soi,” aka “Chaing Mai noodles.” I’m missing Kao Soi, and some other really great dishes.

    I’m also interested in whether there will be any communal-style cooking like what you can find in some informal places in Thailand. People may sit at a table and share a BBQ/Pot cooker and bundles of ingrediants. It’s fun!

    Here’s hoping that Bite Club found my another winner!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read previous post:
Bao. Pineapple. Pineapple Bao at Santa Rosa Bakery

There's no pineapple, but these sweet buns are filled with something event better.

Close