“Bittersweet” is the word restaurateur Bank Atcharawan uses when discussing his separation from his two beloved restaurants, Chada Thai & Wine and Chada Street. The most he’ll elaborate: “It was a business partner thing. I felt that the best solution for me was to sell my shares.”
Unsurprisingly, the former Lotus of Siam sommelier’s involvement proved essential, and not long after his departure, both Chadas shuttered in 2018. Bank Atcharawan stayed in the game via his wife Pimmie’s Thai dessert concept, the Patio, which quickly developed a following. But Atcharawan wanted more. “I wanted to sell wine again,” he says.
He’s doing that and more at Lamaii, his new spot in Chinatown. If the restaurant’s recent soft-opening was any indication, this will be another success for Atcharawan. Lamaii translates to “delicately,” which describes the atmosphere well. The décor focuses on wooden columns and cream-colored walls and furniture, and there’s a large wine cellar up front. Atcharawan promises to keep prices low for locals.
Guests can chow down on favorites from the Chada days, along with new dishes. Making the journey with Atcharawan are such holdovers as panang ped grob—crispy duck in a rich curry—and pad kee mao, drunken noodles mixed with proteins and loaded flavor. Original items Atcharawan says he’s excited to present include comforting boat noodle soup and crispy beef with rice powder. Reflecting back on where he’s been and where he is now, he says, “It all worked out in the end.”
LAMAII 4480 Spring Mountain Road #700, 702-238-0567. Tuesday-Sunday, 5 p.m.-2 a.m.