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Lao and Thai Spicy Noodle (South Elgin)

Lao and Thai Spicy Noodle (South Elgin)
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  • Lao and Thai Spicy Noodle (South Elgin)

    Post #1 - November 14th, 2017, 9:41 am
    Post #1 - November 14th, 2017, 9:41 am Post #1 - November 14th, 2017, 9:41 am
    For those working with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, taking a spin at the Grand Victoria Casino, or needing an immediate break en route to Madison, I highly recommend Lao & Thai Spicy Noodle, a family-run strip mall joint nestled between a martial arts studio and an L.A. Tan. The homemade Lao sausages, sauces, and rice noodles - from scratch onsite - are destination-worthy.

    The original menu is built for family style sharing - egg rolls (without Burbank Spicy Thai Lao's turmeric lacing), sausage, and build-your-own neam neung (massed artfully for takeout) have relatively high entry pricepoints but significant quality.


    The condiment caddy includes Squid brand fish sauce, sugar, pickled peppers, and some damn fierce chili oil. Nam khao, mild by design, is perfectly fried and served with pristine lettuce. To my taste it's markedly less sour and more coconutty than the Chicago Thai places - a really nice contrast for the apps and meats (definitely no halal going on here).


    On two visits the gregarious children of the family have been front of house, offering frank advice on what mom is making best today, including when noodles are fresh in what dishes (they also have packaged onhand). I've only had a sample of the boat noodle broth but it was rich and herbaceous.

    I have also heard nice things (here and elsewhere) about nearby White Pearl, also Lao-inflected. This all would be a fun LTH field trip sometime.

    Lao & Thai Spicy Noodle
    612 Randall Rd, South Elgin, IL 60177
  • Post #2 - November 14th, 2017, 12:56 pm
    Post #2 - November 14th, 2017, 12:56 pm Post #2 - November 14th, 2017, 12:56 pm
    Not too far from my neck of the woods. Exciting!

    A lunch at White Pearl was one of my favorite meals of the year, I've been remiss to post. Lao sausages, som tum, and lap (with bile), oh my!
  • Post #3 - April 8th, 2018, 11:51 am
    Post #3 - April 8th, 2018, 11:51 am Post #3 - April 8th, 2018, 11:51 am
    Had an excellent, if incendiary, lunch here. Dining solo, I only ordered two things (+ gratis spring rolls which were nothing special, but hit the spot) and they were both fantastic–

    Papaya salad, Lao style, was all the way pad phet. The dressing had an almost opaque murkiness to it, but was not over-the-top funky. I loved that it was not sweetened at all. The acid was somewhat restrained, amazingly balanced. Hot though, necessary were alternating bites of raw cabbage, cracklings, and sticky rice.

    Their Lao sausages were reminiscent of my favorite sai ua in the glory days of early Sticky Rice, popping with lime leaf and curry paste aromatics. Great textures too–fried crisp casing, interior coarse ground with a bit of smooth rice and plenty of melty fat. The sauce was quite distinctive, reminiscent of salsa de molcajete with a pronounced toasted dry chili heat and a smooth roast-y tomato base.

    It had been a year since I've visited White Pearl, which I also loved. I'd say what I sampled the other day was on par– perfectly prepared, complex, assertive flavors. The sausage here was better, for sure house made (as advertised) and less salty, preserved tasting than White Pearl's. Really cool to have two Lao options in Elgin. I do live a bit closer than the city, but its still a bit of a hike. Destination-worthy though, I only wish the menus at both of these places had more of the unique stuff rather than Ameri-Thai staples. But maybe those dishes offer twists as well. I know Lao pho is a thing. Lao & Spicy Thai had menu sections devoted to different Tom Yum and Tom Kha variations, interesting...