Dear Readers, it is official. Tribeca is now a culinary hotspot. A few Years ago I wouldnt touch the area with a 10 foot pole (mainly because of the difficulties involved) but now I found the area refreshing. I can now have a great Falafel in Nish Nush, amazing Korean in Jungsik, and now Khe-Yo. Just like Jungsik, the first modern Korean to hit NYC, Khe-Yo is the first place purely devoted to Lao cuisine. But Lao cooking has been around here for a while now. In my best Troy McClure voice…
“Hi, I’m Troy McClure! You may remember this Laos dish from movies such as Yum Yum, An Officer and a Thai Dish, Yum Yum 3, Eat Drink Man Woman Tranny”
What I’m trying to say is Lao dishes like Larb and the spicy papaya salad can be found in many Thai restaurants all over town. But in Marc Forgione’s Khe-Yo things get a bit more inventive. I visited Khe-Yo about a month a ago, 2 days after it opened and since then Khe-Yo has gained a lot of media attention. Marc now has places in both Duane and Reade streets! Ok, it sounded much more meaningful in my head. Executive chef is Laos born Soulayphet Schwader (AKA better call Saul!)who will occasionally come out to serve the main course himself
They start you off with a bang here. Sticky rice comes with 2 fantastic condiments and a prolonged explanation on how to best enjoy the sticky rice. Eating with your fingers. Dip it in the Heirloom puree or the addictively sick spicy Jeow made with 4 different Thai chili, cilantro, fish sauce and garlic. I was dipping everything in that thing including car keys
I love small menus. This one only has 5 apps, 5 entrees, and a few salads. Crunchy coconut rice with spicy kafﬁr lime Sausage was good and original. I just wished there was a bit more sausage. Jurgielewicz Duck salad was even better. Nicely done, freshly butchered (24 hour) duck along with lightly fried crunchy duck tongue, lemongrass, nice palm sugar vinegar, and jalapeno skins to balance things out. Nice start
Berkshire Spare Ribs were just ok. A bit fatty for my taste and on the salty side. But I liked the accompanied cold long beans salad. Pork Jowl Red Curry was more like it. Like a super delicious mild pork stew with tasty grilled shiitake mushrooms and baby eggplant on the side.
Dessert menu consists of coconut rice pudding with sliced peach and cashew bits which was fine, and a pricey but promising native cocktail ($13). A fine meal overall. I would love to come back and explore the rest of the menu, like the whole black bass and the chicken. Marc Forgione told me since they opened 2 days ago 15 Lao natives told him how thrilled they were with this place. They also recently opened “Khe-Yosk” for lunch. Get it? Khe..yosk. Its a Banh Mi Sandwich takeout place, and I hope to to try it next week