One of restaurateur Orawin “Nim” Greene’s favorite dishes to make and eat is khao soi. It’s a rich and savory yellow curry noodle bowl punctuated by tender chunks of chicken, red and green onion, fresh lime juice and a garnish of fried egg noodles. It’s part of the contemporary street food menu that defines Thaihey Thaifood, the Lee Drive restaurant that Greene and her husband, Nathan, opened in mid-May.
Transplants from the Bay Area, the Greenes began working on their restaurant concept more than a year ago, when they started selling homemade Thai food at the Farmers and Artisans Market in Lafayette. Their items quickly built a following, and within a few months it helped springboard them into a booth at White Star Market last December.
The couple was just gaining traction with a new Baton Rouge audience when the Mid City food hall closed abruptly in March. By then, Nim and Nathan had fully relocated to the Capital City. Amid the coronavirus shutdown, they began looking for a permanent location for their restaurant here, too.
“It happened so quickly, but we were able to find a new location that fits what we want to do,” Nim says.
The couple moved Thaihey into a spot on Lee Drive once occupied by now-closed Halal Guys. They retooled the modern, airy interior with a wall-size tapestry and decorative touches from Nim’s native Thailand. The full-service restaurant is open for lunch and dinner and has a drive-through window for to-go orders.
Read on for the rest of the story and insights into some of the restaurant’s dishes. This story originally appeared in 225‘s September 2020 issue.