San Anselmo residents were just mourning the loss of Tommy Thongnopneua and the uncertainty of his Orchid Thai Restaurant. The much beloved Thongnopneua passed away last month, and many miss him not only for his generosity and compassion but for the fine meals he and Peggy served at their establishment.
Our readers recently alerted Patch staff to yet another Thai restaurant closure when Lanna Thai Restaurant at 810 Sir Francis Drake Blvd. called it quits. One email from Kim Metzger said that she had noticed last Friday that the restaurant was closed. “We officially have no Thai options in San Anselmo,” she wrote.
We called the old Lanna Thai phone number in the hopes of finding a lead. To our surprise, we connected with one of the managers (Fiat) of the new restaurant that just opened. We also stopped by and met the new owner. Walking up to the front door, we found workers still putting the finishing touches on the new sign fronting Sir Francis Drake Boulevard.
Auryn Thai Cuisine is the new name, and the new owner’s name is Katchakorn Treesuwan, who goes by Nell. There is also a new menu. When asked how their menu differs from Lanna Thai, Fiat explained that, “There is less fusion and more authentic Thai. We still do fusion dishes, but not as many.”
Nell said she got her start in the restaurant business back in Thailand. “My mother loved to cook, and so did I," she said. "We opened a restaurant there, and I’ve been cooking ever since.”
They closed the restaurant when Nell moved to the United States. She later opened a restaurant on Taylor Street in San Francisco called Muang Thai Cuisine. Nell owned and operated the restaurant for 10 years until last February when she decided to close and relocate to the North Bay.
Recalling her years in the restaurant business, Nell said her most memorable experience was when the Royal Princess from Thailand came to San Francisco in January 2009. The Thai Consulate in Los Angeles chose Nell and her restaurant to prepare meals for the princess during her stay here. She considered that experience an honor and a privilege.
Nell has been busy. The new menu is already in print and the cooks are already at work. “But I still have more to do,” Nell said.
Between now and this summer, she plans to replace an awning and add some fresh paint to the place. In the meantime, San Anselmo residents will be glad to know they still have a Thai food option right in town.
Do you know of a new business opening or business anniversary around town? We want to know! Please contact Tom at firstname.lastname@example.org with all your business tips.
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