The last couple of week; since we've gotten back from our trip have been nice. At least in terms of work for me. No more long days and weekends. The recent muggy weather has also changed my eating strategy a bit as well. I was craving Lao food. I decided to head back to Ban Lao to see how things have changed since my first visits there.
The place looks basically the same; except for the strategically placed ATM. The menu though, has evolved a bit, with some new dishes.
I was really thinking about getting the Sien Savanh (beef jerky) which I really enjoyed on one of my previous visit. I saw "fried pork belly" on the menu and really couldn't make up my mind. I finally asked the really nice young lady working here. She basically said she enjoys both, but because I'd had the beef jerky before, why not try the pork belly.....such good sales, huh?
This was ok. The pork belly was nicely fried; though there were some tough bits and without that wonderful fish sauce-chili-citrus dipping sauce it would have not been very good. The seasoning was too mild and it was rather plain.
I really wanted some Nem Khao, which turned out being better than what I'd had here before.
Nice crunchy-crispy bits, good amount of herbs, nice amount of pork skin, I think it could have used a bit more sour sausage, but texturally, this was quite nice. The portion size was a lot larger than on previous visits. And while it didn't look like it; there was a good amount of lettuce for wrapping up the nem khao. It's still not quite there in terms of the sour sausage-pork skin-herbs ratio, but it's better than what I've had here before.
A big plus is how nice the staff has always been in this tiny shop. And it seems things are getting better...….
We gotta get back to Laos one of these days.
Ban Lao Cuisine
4126 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92105