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“Cool environment, but subpar experience”
Review of Lao Lao Garden!

Lao Lao Garden!
Ranked #50 of 205 Restaurants in Luang Prabang
Cuisines: Asian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Description: We open every day from 8 am to 11.30 pm
Manhattan Beach, California
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Cool environment, but subpar experience”
Reviewed October 10, 2012

We were really excited to eat at this place but ended up being disappointed. We walked up the stairs to the top of the outdoor area and were seated but then were ignored for 10 minutes. Literally, no one took our drink order. There were 5+ servers up there helping everyone, and we'd wave to a couple of servers that would be chatting behind the bar (aka not doing anything). After watching another table get ignored, and all the others being helped, we decided to move downstairs inside which was pretty much empty.
Started off good, there was 3 of us and ordered a large serving of BBQ, the do-it-yourself traditional Laotian bbq. The guy turned the fan on for us, because it was much hotter inside than outside, and when he brought the coal, hot pieces of ash and cool flew all over us, which was kinda scary! Then as we were making our bbq and soup, the hot steal plate we were cooking on tipped on its side bc the coal bucket was uneven, and a server came to the rescue as soup started spilling onto the table. Made sure not to overcook our meat but it still came out bland... The food was just alright, beers were cheap, but the service was poor.

...I don't know, we ate at so many other great places in Luang Prabang that this place was just not that memorable, and I don't think I'd ever recommend eating here.
Ditch this place and head to Tamarind!

  • Visited July 2012
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Katypick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LLG2005, Manager at Lao Lao Garden!, responded to this review, January 2, 2013
This is apparently an advertisement for another restaurant.

However, if it is a real review, last July when you visited the owner and general manager were on holiday at the same time during low season. All this has been sorted out since and the staff is learning that the internet is their real boss.


Since 2005, Lao Lao Garden has remained the most popular venue in Luang Prabang, serving hundreds of meals daily, so the food is unquestionably purchased and served fresh. It was voted the #1 thing to do in Luang Prabang and the #2 budget restaurant in Asia by the readers of Lonely Planet Travel Guide.

Lao Lao Garden is one of only a few remaining Lao-owned and operated businesses in town and the last Lao-style Restaurant, bar and beergarden in the UNESCO world heritage zone. Its theme is “Simply Lao,” because it is in Laos, not Europe. There is a Western consultant to teach basic expected standards and the Lao owner has a degree in tourism and studied restaurant management in Thailand.

Travelers who want to experience something really different, have an openness and sense of humor about dealing with other cultures and languages and want an authentic taste of local life will be quite happy at Lao Lao Garden. It is also one of only a few places in town that still has locals as customers.

Lastly, and sadly, readers of reviews on this website need to realize, especially in Luang Prabang, that it is being extremely manipulated by unscrupulous businesses. It is far from “unbiased” as it claims to be.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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483 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
Level 6 Contributor
178 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Great place for backpackers :-)”
Reviewed September 25, 2012 via mobile

Great place with quite a lot to offer. Huge portions and good prices. There's quite a lot to choose from and I guess everyone can find something they will like. :-) Good atmosphere and friendly staff. Give it a go :-)

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Delicjaaa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level 6 Contributor
251 reviews
115 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 300 helpful votes
“Great pre-curfew bar”
Reviewed September 16, 2012

Lao Lao is a great bar to spend the last few of the pre-curfew hours and enjoy the twinkling lights and garden setting

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
Thank Project25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ko Phangan, Surat Thani, Thailand
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Lao BBQ ...”
Reviewed September 11, 2012

One of my favorit eating places, appart from the night market. They offer free welcome shot of Lao Kao when you get there. Go there and try a Lao BBG - "Mugata Lao". Food excellent, staf very friendly

Visited February 2012
Thank Joe L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
142 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
“Worth it for the experience”
Reviewed September 1, 2012

We decide to try their famous DIY at table BBQ, what seems like an interesting concept, Choose the meat combination which has buffalo, chicken and pork. In between the waiter brings us complimentary shots Lao Lao which tastes like a nice cough medicine.
BBQ arrives and hole in centre of table revealed into which our BBQ with burning coals is placed. A waiter explains to us how we should cook the food and starts us off by placing noodles,various vegetables and the contents of an egg into the broth. While that cooks the meat is placed on the convex exposed cooking surface above the coals. Buffalo and chicken cook well but the pork is a bit dodgy (read unchewable) so we don't persevere with it. Overall there isn't alot of flavour. Not a great culinary experience but still and adventure

  • Visited July 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank vichri81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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