After this sojourn in Paris, I would’ve visited more European cities than Asian ones, having only travelled to the well trodden spots in the region. When we go back, there are many countries I want to explore, Laos being high on the list because if Laotian food is delicious in France, how more so would it be in its own turf?
Lao Lane Xang is one of the better known Indochine restaurants in the city. Though it serves the stock Thai and Vietnamese dishes, one’s best bet is to zone in on the Laotian specialities such as Khao Pun Nam Pa, a rich bowl of vermicelli in a coconut and fish broth. The rich broth that coats the thin rice noodles is fragrant with coconut milk, aromatic herbs and filled with shredded fish, a distant cousin of my hometown favorite, laksa. Though the color suggests something on the fiery side, it was quite mild, no doubt catering to local tastes. Of course, if you like me are a chili lover, the spice level can be easy dialed by with a liberal dosage of one or all 4 different types of chili presented upon request.
Other dishes such as crispy duck scattered with deep fried basil leaves and doused in a tamarind sauce, as well as the refreshingly tart Nem Lao (a crispy toasted rice salad with salty, slightly sourish preserved sausages), while also not spicy are extremely moreish.
Lao Lane Xang is so popular it has 2 branches opened directly opposite each other, the 2nd iteration slicker and more spacious. But I prefer the original, cramped seats, rapid service and all, where I can pretend I am in some back alley restaurant in Luang Prabang, impatiently waiting for the server to hand me my next bite.
Address: 105 Avenue d’Ivry 75013 Paris, France (original); 102 Avenue d’Ivry 75013 Paris, France (Lao Lane Xang 2)