It had been almost a year since I last visited DanSavann Laos Cafe. It proved to be worth that first trek up to Olney. Now under new ownership and called Laos Cafe, I was glad to see authentic Laotaion food still on the main stage.
To start, crispy and delicate quail, tangy lemongrass Laos sausage, meaty grilled pork ribs and their powerful Iced Tea (spiked with bourbon as it is BYO).
Anticipating the herb and lime heavy salads, we got two. A spicy squid and a more mild beef. Both hosted plenty of mint and red onion. And who needs croutons when you have a side order of crispy pork skin chips (kiep moo)?
Two of the more interesting plates were the khao piak sen and nam khao.
Khao piak sen is a traditional rice noodle chicken soup. Our waitress recommended it as a favorite of hers. The soup is thick from the rice starches, similar to congee and definitely a comfort food. I avoided the cubes of blood that came in it.
Nam khao ($10), also on the salad menu, is described as crushed crispy rice balls mixed with fermented pork, coconut, herbs, and peanuts. It's a great combination of flavor and texture.
For any of you who are really devoted to trying authentic flavors of countries across the world, I highly recommend a stop at this restaurant.
DanSavann Laos Cafe, 5419 N Mascher St, 215 927-1417