Laos-born chef Seng Luangrath left her native country during the Vietnam War and made her temporary home in a refugee camp in Thailand. During this trying time, Seng found her passion: cooking. She learned how to cook from fellow refugees, and as an adult, decided to bring authentic Lao cuisine to her adopted hometown of Washington, D.C. at Thip Khao.
Chef Seng works to preserve her Laotian-American heritage through a menu of traditional and modern Lao bites, starting with appetizers. Try the chuenh peek gai, crispy tamarind-glazed chicken wings served over puffed rice, alongside the sai oua, a spicy version of pork sausage infused with herbs and drizzled with green chili sauce. Wash down your small plates with a Lao-style lager or a signature cocktail, like the Aviary. It features a tropical mix of pineapple rum, Aperol, and sour apricot. Then devour a main dish such as the piing kaw muu. This traditional dish features tender pork shoulder grilled with ginger, lemongrass, and fermented fish, then finished with a fiery toasted rice sauce.