Atlanta Toddler Foodies - Lao Laan-Xang Review
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🙂 = Absolutely delicious and very authentic Lao cuisine, served up in a very kid-friendly environment. ‘Nuff said.
🙁 = The restaurant only has street parking, there’s only one high chair available, there are no changing tables, there’s no kids menu, and kids don’t eat free. NONETHELESS, if you are a true foodie – and you want your kids to be true foodies – you should try this place. Lao food is a rare, unsung gem that food lovers should try at least once.

Spice alert: Laotian food tends to be spicy. Very spicy. Lao Laan-Xang offers different levels of spiciness (“Lao Spicy” being the spiciest – as in, it will make your nose run and your forehead sweat). For little ones, ask for the mildest spice level or no spice at all.

Allergy alert: Many Lao dishes contain peanuts.

Every now and then on our foodie adventures we run into this quandary: we find a great place that serves amazing food, but has few, if any, kid-friendly amenities. Such is the case for Lao Laan-Xang restaurant in Madison, Wisconsin. It’s a tiny little spot in an ethnic area of Madison. The only “kid-friendly amenity” it offers, as per our normal standards, is a single high chair. (Yes, the restaurant only has one high chair.) But, by golly, does it have some incredible Laotian food.  For this reason, we believe Lao Laan-Xang deserves a few extra Gummy Bears.

Toddler Foodies - Lao Laan-Xang Madison Review

Showcasing the Lao specialties on Lao Laan-Xang’s extensive menu

We visited Madison for a family reunion and knew we had to do at least one review in while we were there. We chose Lao Laan-Xang because we’re big fans of Lao food, and we can’t easily get it in Atlanta. (The only times we really get to eat Lao food is when we go to parties at our parents’ friends’ houses.) When we arrived a Lao Laan-Xang, we were happy to find it was just slightly more upscale than a hole-in-the-wall, and the kitchen in back was manned by a few elderly Laotian women. We knew then and there that the food would be on point.

Mommy ordered all our favorite dishes off the menu: Lao Ruom Mit (an appetizer sampler featuring coconut shrimp, two types of Lao eggrolls, and crab rangoon), Khao Tod Nam Som (Lao lettuce wraps filled with a mixture made of ground pork, crispy rice, eggs, fresh grated coconut, peanuts, and cilantro), Chicken Khao Phuun (rice vermicelli stir-fried in a curry-based sauce with chicken, vegetables, and fresh herbs), and Pork Larp (finely minced pork tossed with spices and fresh herbs, served cold). We also got two orders of sticky rice and an order of Papaya Salad (this is a staple that you really must eat with your Lao meal). Mommy loves spicy food, so she ordered the Pork Larp in “Lao Spicy”; the rest of the food was mild so we could eat it.

Atlanta Toddler Foodies - Lao Laan-Xang Review

Lao Appetizer Sampler

All the food was delicious. In our humble opinion, the only thing Mommy did wrong in ordering our meal was getting two orders of sticky rice. One was more than enough. We went to town on our noodles, papaya salad, and sticky rice like it was going out of style. We had to lay back in our chairs and undo the top button of our pants afterward. We were SO. FULL.

So, what’s the takeaway from this review? 1) If you’re ever in Madison, WI, check this place out. 2) Try Lao food if you can find it in your city. And 3) Atlanta needs a good Lao restaurant stat. Who’s going to open one? Holla at us when you do. 🙂

Until next time, folks, happy eating and have a good holiday weekend!

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