Khao Poon Lao Noodle Shop is Coming to Thip Khao

Khao Poon Lao Noodle Shop is Coming to Thip Khao
Lao noodle shop Khao Poon pops up in Columbia Heights. Photograph courtesy of Khao Poon

DC’s first Lao noodle house, Khao Poon, has found a temporary home. Laotian chefs Deth Khaiaphone, formerly chef de cuisine at Doi Moi, and Seng Luangrath (chef/owner Bangkok Golden, Thip Khao) will test out their new restaurant in Columbia Heights this September. The noodle shop will take over Thip Khao on Tuesday evenings when the restaurant is regularly closed, and serve a small menu of appetizers, vermicelli bowls, and specialty drinks.

Khaiaphone, a CIA-trained pastry chef, first tested out his homemade noodles during a six-month pop-up at Union Market. The new menu will feature similar dishes, such as green curry with seafood and fresh herbs, and red curry chicken, all over vermicelli. You’ll also find traditional Lao pho, seasoned with lemongrass, galangal, and ginger instead of the Vietnamese version’s cinnamon and clove. Rounding out the weekly-changing menu will be starters like grilled skewers, laab salads, and vegetarian/vegan options. As is the case at Thip Khao, the heat can be dialed down by request, or cranked up to “Lao hot” (i.e. scorching).

Khao Poon, which translates to “vermicelli rice noodles,” will eventually focus on homemade strands; the noodles prove too labor-intensive for a single pop-up. Khaiaphone and Luangrath are still searching for a permanent restaurant space, ideally on the smaller (i.e. 2,000 square-foot) side, in neighborhoods like Petworth and Brookland.

Stay tuned for the start date, which will likely be the first or second Tuesday in September.

Khao Poon pop-up. 3462 14th St., NW.

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Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.