The Ray family goes out to breakfast nearly every Sunday. It’s their one day off from tending their Tacoma restaurant, Loak Toung Thai.
They like to try new places. Finding American-style brunch is easy. Finding a Thai brunch has proved impossible.
That’s why they decided to open their restaurant twice a month for brunch only on Sundays.
They started serving Sunday brunch in October and will offer brunch service two more times in November. The next breakfast will be Sunday (Nov. 12) followed by another on Nov. 26. The family then will decide whether to continue their brunches.
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The menu follows the theme of their restaurant, Isaan-style food. That style of Thai cuisine reflects the roots of chef and co-owner Maam Ray, who is from the northeastern region of Thailand near Cambodia and Laos. The Ray family opened their Thai restaurant in 2016.
The menu changes with each brunch. There are three dishes offered (one of those comes with a vegetarian option). Seating in the small restaurant is first-come, first-served and no reservations are taken. Because the restaurant is so small, with about 24 seats, count on a wait.
Anutsara Ray, daughter of Maam and Jeremy Ray, said the restaurant served three dishes on its Oct. 29 menu.
Kra poh pla was one dish. It’s a Thai-style street food dish that’s a breakfast soup, said Anutsara.
“It’s more of a healthier meal, to get breakfast started with warm soup,” she said.
Also on the menu was khao jee, a rice dish.
“It’s pretty much sticky rice mixed with egg,” said Anutsara. She said the grilled rice and egg are served with pork that is marinated overnight in a salty sauce. That dish was served with “my mom’s homemade Isaan sauce with Cambodian and Laos influence in there.”
The final dish offered at the Oct. 29 brunch was yum kanom jeen, a noodle salad made with Thai herbs and fresh lime juice. The dish is made with rice vermicelli noodles, chopped onions and cilantro. It’s flavored with fermented fish sauce, an Isaan specialty.
All dishes at brunch are priced $8.99.
Loak Toung Thai
Where: 3807 South Center St., Tacoma.
Info: 253-248-9813; loaktoungthai.com/menu.
Serving brunch: 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Nov. 12 and 26.
Regular hours: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays; 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays; and 4:30-9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.