Food for the Soul: Lawlasoe Restaurant opens up for new experiences

Published 6:59 pm Friday, June 10, 2022

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There’s a new dining experience available in Austin and its owners are hoping to share a little of their culture along the way.

Lawlasoe Restaurant has opened up for business in the old Moose Lodge building located at 208 South Main, the same location as Lawlasoe Market and owned by the Lawlasoe family.

With 10 dishes currently available, along with the popular boba tea, Chit Lawlasoe and his family are hoping to spice up dining options in the city with authentic Thai dishes.

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“We want people in town to get a taste of Thai food so we try to make as much as possible to taste as much as possible,” Lawlasoe said Thursday.

The day was just getting started for the restaurant on Thursday as a pair of cooks worked large woks in the kitchen and customers began filing in.

What people see when they first walk through the doors isn’t the food options or the market, it’s what the family calls a blessing.

The meaning of “Lawlasoe” can be translated to miracle or the power of miracles. It’s an apt reflection of everything the family has been able to accomplish so far.

“The reason we named it that is because God has done a lot of miracles for me and my family,” Lawlasoe said. “We name this ‘Lawlasoe’ to remember that God has done a lot of miracles for our family.”

The restaurant is just three weeks into business, but already there has been transformation from what was originally going to start out as strictly carry out.

Lawlasoe was concerned about his unfamiliarity with regulations and health guidelines a sit-down restaurant would bring, but after doing some digging and working with the Department of Agriculture, Lawlasoe discovered a sit-down restaurant was well within reach and would provide an option for Thai food right here in Austin, rather than driving to the Twin Cities or Rochester.

It was a dream come true.

“I was so excited,” he said. “I wanted to have a restaurant where people could come and dine in.”

It was the first door to open to an authentic Thai experience, which is the adopted homeland of the Lawlasoes, who are a Karen family originally from Myanmar, but who were forced to become refugees to Thailand.

But now the family revels in their adopted Thai heritage and the food served is a reflection of that. At the forefront is a Thai favorite: Pakrow Pa.

“Pakrow Pa is the most special dish,” Lawlasoe said. “It’s really fresh, the ground meat is fresh. Me and my chef were just thinking about doing Pakrow Pa because it is the most famous dish in Thailand. We want that popular here so we want people to try it.”

There are other favorites for people to try including fried rice, flower clams and of course pad Thai.”

But they also are preparing for the future and are preparing to add even more along the way. Just this past Thursday they added egg rolls, however, for the time being they are satisfied to keep things on the smaller end.

What makes Lawlasoe Restaurant so adaptable, however, is the market next door, which serves as another avenue to open people up to Thai and Asian foods.

If customers are looking to do some cooking at home, Lawlasoe and his family are in a perfect position to help guide people.

“We give options to the customer all of the time,” Lawlasoe said. “They  want to add something, they don’t want to add something … they can always let us know and we can kind of meet their choice.”

Despite such a recent opening. Lawlasoe is already looking at the next steps. One of those includes adding a hot pot and a grill to the premises, which Lawlasoe said would be a rarity in the area.

He’s also working on converting the basement into a place where people could rent the space for reunions or parties.

Lawlasoe Restaurant is open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.