I tipped rworange on this place because I knew she had made a tour of Laotian places in the past, and she has already made preliminary comments on the place on this post:
Vallejo is lacking in both of these cuisines (as far as I know, Cha-Am is the only restaurant in town that serves up Thai, and there are definitely no Laotian places) so when I spotted this place, I put it on my target list.
I visited here during a slow, rainy night (only one other customer came by just as I was about to leave), giving me essentially full reign over the place. The interior is a lot nicer than you might think from looking at the outside - most of the decor is centered around elephants, which I suppose isn't too surprising. With the sound system and fair number of tables and chairs, it looks like you could host a decent-sized event inside.
The menu is pretty extensive; I'll take rw's word that the menu is tilted more toward the Thai side than the Laotian side (I have very little knowledge of Thai cuisine, and none on the Laotian side.) With that said, I wanted to try something of both, so I got the Papaya Salad ($5.95) done Lao style and the Pad Ped Nor Mai ($7.95/stir fried bamboo shoots, jalapeño, onion, and basil with soy sauce), both ordered spicy. The salad came first, plentiful in both amount and spiciness, which was nice for once (I guess I'm just used to the dishes from Thai places near my workplace not being spicy despite my requests.)
While I was having the salad, I had a pleasant talk with the owner. She said the place will reach its two-month anniversary this week and that business had been pretty good so far (this particular space is easy to miss and has seen a fair number of restaurants come and go.) I went ahead and asked her what the difference between Thai style and Lao style papaya salad was - she said Lao style is done with a fish-based sauce. I'm not normally one who goes for fish-based sauce dishes, but I liked this salad and would order it again (after I try the Thai style version for comparison.)
The Pad Ped Nor Mai was not spicy, but at that point, I didn't mind - the salad packed more than enough heat. This was a good dish, with plenty of tofu and all ingredients cooked up well. I had ample leftovers of both dishes for what should be a tasty lunch tomorrow.
Ano Thai's curry dishes are available with either chicken, beef or pork; while their house specialties (including the Pad Ped mentioned above) are available with either beef, pork or tofu. In both cases, you can add in prawns or seafood for $1.50 extra.
They have a very small wine and beer selection, including Singha Thai Beer and Beer Lao, plus Coconut Juice and Thai Iced Tea/Coffee. Desserts include things like Coconut Ice Cream, Fried Banana with either honey or ice cream, and Sticky Rice with either mango or ice cream. Even if none of those appeal to you, a tasty dessert option is available just a couple blocks away in the paleta/Mexican ice cream place La Michoacana, which is northward on Broadway.
I suspect they do a decent take-out lunch business - lunch plates are $6.95 and come with steamed rice, plus a house soup or salad if you eat in-house. Catering is also available.
In a city where you have to look just a little bit harder for decent cuisine, Ano Lao Thai is a welcome addition with a promising menu. It's definitely worth a try if you happen to be near this part of Vallejo.
Ano Thai Lao Cuisine
907 Tennessee Street
(near Broadway; across the street from Jack In The Box)
Lunch: M-F, 11am - 3pm
Dinner: M-Sat, 5pm - 9pm
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