New Thai restaurant fills niche in popular South Austin neighborhood
When one door closes, another opens. Krua, a new Thai restaurant, will open this summer in the former Barley Swine space on South Lamar Boulevard. Chef/owner Sam Sampothong promises to fill a niche, bringing fresh and modern Thai restaurants to the neighborhood.
Krua is located at 2024 S. Lamar Blvd., in the small space that previously housed chef Bryce Gilmore's highly acclaimed restaurant. Barley Swine vacated the address in early 2016 to move to Burnet Road.
"We named the restaurant Krua because in Thai that means 'kitchen'. We feel this name best describes the style of Thai food we serve. We want the restaurant to feel ... comfortable to our customers, like a kitchen in their own home," Sampothong says.
Sampothong also operates Aroi Thai Cuisine, a 3-year-old food truck currently located at Highway 290 and Nutty Brown Road. The popular destination serves up quality and affordable classics like pad Thai, curry, fried rice, and more.
The brick-and-mortar Krua will differ slightly from Aroi, focusing more on authentic cuisine, as well as vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. Sampothong will draw on his travel background and experience working in five-star hotels.
"I have learned so many techniques and adapted them to create my own style of cooking, which mainly emphasizes freshness and high quality of ingredients so that my customers can have healthy and nutrient-rich foods," he says.
The team is targeting a mid-July opening.