Adventure diners seeking Southeast Asian fare with a genuine edge should head to multi-culti Upper Darby, where this modest BYOB turns out an authentic menu inspired by Thailand and Laos. The kitchen's Thai fare is among the region's most solid (including great satay and pad Thai), but the spicier, funkier, and less-sweet dishes from chef-owner Ketkeo Banthavong's native Laos are the most compelling reason to come.
Tom yum; tom zap, Thai BBQ chicken; house sausage; winter shrimp; fried tofu; beef salad; chicken larb; fried pork spare ribs; som tum Laos; sup normai bamboo shoot salad; chu chee duck; spicy noodles; pad Thai; kao piag sen Laos noodles with pork; lemongrass fried rice; steamed whole fish with spicy lime sauce; mango with sticky rice.
BYOB. For wine, try a riesling with a touch of sweetness and some acidity - either a German kabinett or a riper bottle from Alsace. Gewurztraminer is also nice. Beer, however, was the most quenching for this assertive spice. Go for Belgian styles - a Mischief strong ale from California's Bruery, or a raspberry wheat from Poconos upstart ShawneeCraft.
The bare walls and small space hits the low-80s decibels, even when half empty. (Ideal is 75 decibels or less.)
Entire menu served Sunday, Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, until 10 p.m. Lunch specials Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.