Chutatip “Nok” Suntaranon will close her BYOB in Bella Vista on Oct. 1 as preparations continue for an early fall opening of a larger, more ambitious location in Fishtown.
It’s business as usual at 764 S. Ninth St. but she has planned a special menu for the last day. It will feature communal seatings for 25 people each at 5 and 7:45 p.m., with a 10-course menu priced at $175 per person, including tax and tip. (Reservation requests, including time, number in party, and phone, are being taken via email@example.com. A restaurant representative will reply.)
The menu will include hed pad (stir-fry mushrooms), moo kapi sator (pork stir fry with stinky beans), pla tod kamin (turmeric monkfish), and goong prik klua (salt and pepper jumbo river prawn).
The new Kalaya (say it “kah-lay-YAH”) will be a partnership with Defined Hospitality, which owns and operates Suraya and Pizzeria Beddia in Fishtown and Condesa in Center City.
With 160-plus seats in a former warehouse at 4 W. Palmer St., between Front Street and Frankford Avenue, Kalaya will join a burgeoning scene in the area. It will be across an alley from the Stephen Starr Mexican restaurant LMNO and Evil Genius Beer Co. It’s also about two blocks from Suraya, the Levantine market and café, restaurant, and outdoor garden.
This Kalaya location will have a full liquor license and will be open daily.
Inquirer critic Craig LaBan followed Suntaranon back home to Thailand earlier this year as she researched ingredients and techniques.
It’s been quite a 3½-year adventure for Suntaranon, whose restaurant has picked up nods from Esquire (best new restaurant in America for 2020) and Food & Wine (best new restaurant in America for 2020). The James Beard Foundation listed Kalaya a finalist for best new restaurant for 2020 and Suntaranon herself was a finalist for the Beard’s 2022 best chef, Mid-Atlantic award.