#1 Borrow a copy of the illustrated Boat Landing cookbook when you request your menu. It has pictures and information about many of the most fundamental ingredients that go into traditional ethnic Laos cuisines (including hill tribes). It is the best introduction to Laos food that I have seen.
#2 After you have looked through it, browse the menu
#3 Eat and enjoy!
If you prefer just looking at the food and pointing, the night market or the morning market are better places. However, if you are looking for detailed information about the cultures and preparation of the food (including numerous recipes), the cookbook is a better introduction. The environment here is very laidback on a small river as it is, but pleasant especially in the afternoon when the bugs are not yet out. After about a week, I felt this (combined with the night market and the morning market...and a Khmu trek including jungle cuisine) were the best way to understand some important facts about the food culture in Laos....I was very happy!!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.