The Owners of Thip Khao Are Opening Another Laotian Restaurant in DC

Chefs Seng Luangrath and Bobby Pradachith plan to serve new, home-style dishes

Thip Khao. Photograph by Scott Suchman

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They’re not revealing the name or the neighborhood yet, but the owners of Thip Khao in Columbia Heights and Padaek in Falls Church will open their third Laotian restaurant in DC this fall.

Bobby Pradachith, who cooks and operates the restaurants alongside his mom Seng Luangrath, says the new place will have a completely different menu from its counterparts, and serve dishes they haven’t served before. Among them: more salads pounded in a mortar and pestle—a key tool in Lao cooking—as well as a fermented rice and seasonal vegetable dish. Also expect a range of grilled skewers, noodle bowls, rice dishes, and stews.

“There is a comfort food sense to what we’re doing already, but we’re trying to bring more of it,” Pradachith says. The restaurant will have a homey vibe with around 40 to 50 seats (roughly the size of Padaek), plus a bar for Lao-inspired cocktails. It’s the first space the family is building out themselves as opposed to adapting from a previous tenant. Pradachith says he hopes that will allow them to bring in more Lao aesthetics and really make it their own.

“We wanted to express more about the Lao culture,” Pradachith says. “We want it to be something a little bit different.”

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.