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Restaurants & Bars

Strangeways Gives Its Kitchen to Khao Noodle’s Donny Sirisavath for a Week

For one week only this month, you can try a fusion of Lao and Venezuelan-inspired dishes in Old East Dallas.
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Khao Noodle Shop closed its Old East Dallas location in 2021. You can get a taste of Khao at the Strangeways collaboration. Elizabeth Lavin

From April 15 to 21, Strangeways will partner with chef Donny Sirisavath to celebrate Lao New Year by serving Lao-Venezuelan fusion food from the East Dallas bar. From 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. that week, the Strangeways kitchen will dole out new items such as noodles, tacos, and crudo.

Sirisavath, who helmed the now-closed Khao Noodle Shop and Darkoo’s Chicken Shack, said owners and siblings Eric Sanchez and Rosie Ildemaro asked him to collaborate. He says they gave him complete control over the kitchen, which gives him room to experiment with Lao and Latin American flavors. (Sanchez and Ildemaro are Venezuelan.)

“It’s going to be an incorporation of our cultures,” Sirisavath says. “I’m trying to come up with these dishes to kind of pay homage to both our cultures.”

The menu is still being put together, but Sirisavath has a few things he can share. Customers can expect noodle dishes, one of which will rotate throughout the week; a crudo inspired by fish laab; a Lao take on a Venezuelan tamale; and fish tacos made with black rice-masa tortillas. Some dishes will have limited availability, Sirisavath says, so when they’re gone, they’re gone.

With access to a full bar, Sirisavath says he also wants to work with Sanchez to create a drink to pair with the menu. Lao New Year is April 13 through 16, but the event will last all week long, no reservations or tickets required.

Sirisavath hasn’t been cooking much since his restaurants closed, only popping up occasionally in guest kitchens. He says he’s intentionally picky with pop-ups and collaborations and prefers working with small local businesses. Khao was about a mile away from Strangeways, and Sirisavath says their clientele overlap. The brother-sister duo were big supporters of the restaurant. The noodle shop closed its Old East Dallas location in late 2021 after three years, and Darkoo’s closed in 2022.

The bar is currently going through its own legal woes. The landlord is attempting to sell the building to another owner, and it was announced in September the bar would close after 12 years. That closure has been put on hold now that Sanchez and Ildemaro have sued to stop the sale.

“I feel their pain because I went through the same thing,” Sirisavath says. “We’re small business owners—it’s all our heart, blood, sweat, and tears that go into these restaurants.”

For now, the bar remains open, and that means you can head over to try some new fusion dishes.

The event will be held April 15 to 21 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Strangeways, 2429 N. Fitzhugh Ave. No reservations required.

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Nataly Keomoungkhoun

Nataly Keomoungkhoun

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Nataly Keomoungkhoun joined D Magazine as the online dining editor in 2022. She previously worked at the Dallas Morning News,…

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