I am amazed at the negative remarks of some reviewers. Particularly the complaints of this being overpriced. I just had dinner at Vientiane Kitchen. I stuck to Issan specialties, som tam and larb. Actually the menu has a full double-column page on papaya salads alone, but I stuck with the basic som tam with dried shrimp and peanuts. The som tam was quite good. So was the larb, and the dishes were accompanied not only by fresh cabbage but with a plateful of fragrant herbs, mints, basils etc., which added immeasurably to the enjoyment of the meal. I had sticky rice as a side, and ordered bottled water as well as a coconut juice which arrived as it should, in the just-opened coconut. During dinner we were entertained by live music, a group combining traditional and western instruments, with music ranging from traditional to modern pop. Their singer is great. And they had three lovely ladies in traditional costume doing Thai dancing. Great food; great show. Service was attentive, manager personally came over and talked to me before I left.
They may have, as other reviewers complain bitterly, have added the service charge and VAT instead of including it in the menu price. I'm not bothered. My total bill came to 410 baht: about US $13.50. Multi-course, very good dinner and a great floor show for under $14. Are you kidding me? The pricing was comparable to, or less than, many other restaurants I've been to in Thailand.
The restaurant has an open air feel due to the street approach and lofty ceiling. The only quibble I have is that the menu does not transliterate the Thai names of the dishes, instead naming each of in Thai alphabet, English translation, and calligraphy. So you won't find the names "som tam" or "larb" on the menu. You will find "papaya salad" and "minced pork or chicken" on the menu instead. If you only know what you want by its Thai name, and cannot read Thai, the waitress may need to find it for you.
Other than that slight quibble I was impressed by the food, service, ambiance and entertainment. The location is pretty convenient to, just around the corner from the Thong Lo skytrain station. The walk was about 2 or 3 minutes.
As for this being a "tourist trap", to the best of my knowledge I was the only foreigner in the place; all the other diners seemed to be Thais. If you go to this restaurant, however, while I'm in town, the odds are you will see at least one other tourist, because I'm certainly going back.
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