Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Vildana Hajric
Observer Staff Writer 

Ayara Thai Cuisine to Open Pop-Up Shop During Renovations 

Restaurant serves Authentic Thai food to locals and weary travelers landing in nearby LAX.

 

Chef Vanda's food is fresh, light, and tangy and is prepared in an open kitchen, where customers are able to peer in and see dishes sizzling in a wood-burning oven.

Westchester-based Ayara Thai Cuisine has long been a staple in Los Angeles, providing delicious and authentic Thai food to locals and weary travelers landing in nearby LAX.

After many years in operation, Ayara is undergoing a renovation and expansion this month, doubling the size of its kitchen and increasing its seating capacity. During the renovation, the proprietors of the restaurant – the Asapahu family – have opened up a pop-up shop called Ayara Lūk, aimed at satiating customers who would otherwise have to forgo its food during the nearly five-month closure.

The pop-up is a few steps away from the main restaurant where guests can continue to expect some of their favorite Thai dishes, such as lobster pad Thai and tom yum soup. Ayara Lūk is operating on an experimental basis and will also be offering new dishes and a rotating menu, which will change on a monthly basis. And, the Asapahu family hopes to offer brunch in the coming weeks as well as a potential oyster bar.

In Thai, 'lūk' means child and Chef Vanda Asapahu – the eldest daughter of the founders – relays hopes of satisfying customers with old favorites, while paying homage to her family's heritage.

"Our goal is to adopt our parents' recipes and expand on it with dishes inspired by our experiences as first generation Thai-Americans. Our changing menu is small and curated to feature favorites from Ayara Thai, our take on classic Thai dishes, and environmentally-conscious ingredients." 

Chef Vanda's food is fresh, light, and tangy and is prepared in an open kitchen, where customers are able to peer in and see dishes sizzling in a wood-burning oven. Though the menu does not allow for much customization, there are plenty of options for carnivores and vegetarians alike. The pad Thai comes with fresh slices of lime and chopped up peanuts, while the shrimp prik king, which is sautéed with long beans and red curry paste, exudes a pleasant lemongrass scent. Chef Vanda's dishes are prepared in-house and are served fresh. 

Chef Vanda hopes to reopen by the start of 2018 but her patrons can, in the meantime, satisfy their cravings at Ayara Lūk.

8740 South Sepulveda Blvd

Los Angeles CA 90045

Mon- Saturday: 5:30pm-10:00pm

Sun: Closed

Phone: (310) 881-4498

 

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