The brand new iteration of chef Chutatip “Nok” Suntaranon’s fashionable Kalaya Thai restaurant is every week from opening on the Kensington-Fishtown border, the place it is going to be a part of a group of Philadelphia’s hottest new eating places.
Her unique Kalaya, a BYOB in Bella Vista, closed Oct. 1 to facilitate the transfer. At this restaurant — about 4 instances the capability of the unique — Suntaranon is partnered with Outlined Hospitality, who additionally personal Suraya, Pizzeria Beddia, R&D Cocktail Bar, and Condesa and its bar, El Techo.
There’s a bar this time.
The title: Kalaya. Pronounce it “kah-lay-YAH.” It’s the chef’s mom’s title.
The chef: Chutatip “Nok” Suntaranon. Her nickname is pronounced “Nook.” She was a flight attendant who opened an Italian restaurant in Bangkok in 2003 and moved to Philadelphia together with her husband, Ziv Katalan, in 2010. She graduated from French Culinary Institute in Manhattan in 2011 with a level in French delicacies, interning with Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
The brand new location: 4 W. Palmer St., a half-block from Stephen Starr’s LMNO, between Entrance Road and Frankford Avenue.
Opening date: Nov. 29, 2022.
Reservations: Through Resy, 30 days prematurely, for events of 1 to eight.
The again story: Kalaya opened in April 2019 at 764 S. Ninth St., on the food-rich Bella Vista block that can also be dwelling to Ralph’s Italian Restaurant, Sarcone’s Bakery, and Angelo’s Pizzeria. It was an on the spot BYOB hit and survived the pandemic with a streetery.
The awards: A Craig LaBan favorite from the beginning, it was named Esquire’s Finest New Restaurant in America in 2020, a James Beard Basis finalist for Finest New Restaurant in 2020, and certainly one of Meals & Wine journal’s Finest New Eating places in America in 2020. Suntaranon was a finalist for Best Chef Mid-Atlantic on the 2022 James Beard Awards.
» READ MORE: Craig LaBan’s trip to Thailand with “Nok” Suntaranon
The companions: Suntaranon and Outlined Hospitality (Suraya, Pizzeria Beddia, R&D Cocktail Bar, Condesa/El Techo), whose companions embody Greg Root, Al Lucas, and chef Nick Kennedy.
The brand new restaurant’s options: 145 seats, full bar, architectural design by Stokes Structure.
Hours: Open for dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. Sundays by way of Thursdays, with service prolonged till 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
The menu: Suntaranon has expanded what she supplied on the unique Kalaya, and added a number of dishes brought back from a recent culinary inspiration visit to Thailand, as Inquirer meals critic Craig LaBan and photographer Monica Herndon tagged alongside. (LaBan’s impressions: “What I encountered — infinitely assorted, intricately layered, and powered by deep currents of fermented savor, sourness, and heady jolts of natural spice — was brighter and extra intense than something I’d ever tasted in Thai eating places in Philadelphia, other than Kalaya.”) On the new restaurant, each curry and spice mix is made in-house. Desserts by Outlined Hospitality’s James Matty, whose work can also be featured at Suraya and Condesa, embody durian sticky rice and three forms of shaved ice.
The inside: Katherine Lundberg, proprietor of Briquette Studio, says she determined to embrace this character-rich former warehouse with an open design. In a press release, Lundberg mentioned she aimed to mirror post-modern influences with a refined nod to the colonial architectural motifs of Southeast Asia by way of customized steel and glass doorways. The vaulted wooden ceiling is interrupted by a big skylight, sunning the focus to a trio of 14-foot Adonidia Palms. Giant-scale and energetic summary work by acclaimed feminine artist Be Chanida have been imported from Thailand. The eating room’s backdrop options louvers that body the exercise of the open kitchen.
The bar setup: Full bar program, with 14 seats obtainable on the bar for cocktails and full-menu eating. The cocktail listing is made up of names of feminine characters in Thai folklore and fashionable tradition, and was created by Aaron Deary and the group from R&D. Components and flavors used within the kitchen are carried over into variations of traditional cocktails. The wine listing options principally pure wines which might be natural, biodynamic, and sustainable, with 10 wines by the glass, and 22 whole together with bottles. 4 beers are on draft, with 4 beers obtainable by the bottle. Dessert cocktails, zero-proof cocktails, beer slushies, and Thai sodas may even be obtainable, as will a “ya dong.”
Ya dong? It’s a variation of a avenue shot present in Bangkok, crafted right into a cocktail with herbs, spices, and funky flavors.