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“Food is great!”
Review of Lao Cafe' 2

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Lao Cafe' 2
Ranked #528 of 1,124 Restaurants in Fresno
Restaurant details
Clovis, California
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Food is great!”
Reviewed November 15, 2010

I went to Lao Cafe 2 for my first time. My friend recommended me to go there. I went with my husband. We were treated very nice in the beginning. The decorations looks kind of low budget. The seats were worn-out. As we sat there and was looking at the menu the waitress came up to us. Her demeanor was very nonchalant. The waitress seems so impatient with our order. We only sat down for about 4 minutes. Not to mention the Menu was huge and had a lot of items. My husband and I order their Pad thai, Thai papaya salad (mild), sweet beef jerky w/ sesame seeds and steam rice for 2. The food came out in a decent time. When our first dish came out the waitress slam the Pad thai on our table and hurriedly ran to tend to her child. I thought that was very rude, but I'm a very understanding person. I understood why, but yet it was still rude especially with our first time being there. The rest of food came out a couple minutes after. The food was really good. Taste authentic and was very flavorful. I think the waitress came only twice to see how we were doing. She just ask us quickly and proceeded to sit down the incoming guest. With out the chance to ask her for a refill I just kept eating. I realize that the waitress was treating the other customers a lot better then they were treating us. They were very kind and openly cheerful to them. I told my husband that and he also realized it too. The second time the waitress came we just ask her for a to go box for our food. It took her so long just to bring the to go boxes. I don't know what she was doing in the kitchen, but it took very long. We tip them $3 for our meals. It was a pretty decent price compare to the other restaurants in Fresno. They didn't say any goodbye to us (ie Have a good night, thank you for coming) I now just order the food to go. Till this day their service stinks, but their is a magical sensations that keeps me coming back to their food.
Overall, I still go there, but I order to go instead. That is my opinion, but if they treated you like family then enjoy it there.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
4 Thank LilyPK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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7 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
fresno ca
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“My favorite Thai food!”
Reviewed November 20, 2009

This place is wonderful. I recommend the fresh spring rolls, tom kha tofu soup and any kind of curry. I am never disappointed. Remember though, when they ask you how hot you want the papaya salad do not say to make it as hot as they can, it hurts so bad. Best thai food in town in my opinion.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank shadaugherty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
central coast
Level Contributor
97 reviews
63 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
“Don't go with the negative review-this place is great!”
Reviewed April 16, 2009

I discovered Lao Cafe II on a biz trip to Fresburg about 2 years ago. Many of my friends in Fresno had no idea it was even there. Not sure what was going on that brought the negative review, but I have eaten there a dozen times, and while service is casual ( this a family joint in the hood, OK?) it doesn't lack anything.
The menu is great-extensive even. I haven't had any issues with lack of flavor, either. I am vegetarian, and they have always been most accommodating...like the other review-leave off the meat, and the chef will throw in some extra goodies.

DH loves the "lao beef jerky" on the appetizer menu. The taro fries are evil and good. The green papaya salad is absolutely the best I've ever had.....medium is almost too spicy for me, and I'm not shy about spice. Will echoe the comments on the pricey rice and drink options, but in general prices are so low, who cares. We live on the coast 1.5 hrs away and never fail to stop at Lao Cafe when traveling through the Central Valley.
Of course, we try to hit it on the way home so we can score the good leftovers.

Really, really good. Not really, really fancy. Try it-everyone I've taken there loved it!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank chuttipen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A friendly, flavorful ethnic experience in mid-town Fresno”
Reviewed August 1, 2008

My husband and I chose to ignore the terrible review on this website and follow the great word of mouth recommendation of a friend. We were so glad we did! We really enjoyed the food and the staff at Lao Cafe #2. It's a family business, the antithesis of most of the generic chain restaurants in this town and we were treated very well. A sincere and charming young waitress named Dee invited us to bring our bicycles in since the shopping center the restaurant is in is fairly grungy. (If you are there during the day and like cheap treasure hunting for a good cause, check out The Hines Hospice and Am Vets thrift stores)
The menu is long and varied with both Lao (similar to Vietnamese cuisine- specializing in meaty and seafood soups with noodles and beef brisket dishes) and Thai items. You could eat there every night for 6 months and not try everything they have to offer. We didn't get too adventurous but enjoyed everything we ordered and all our food came in a timely manner unlike reviewer #1.
Our shrimp spring rolls were huge and very fresh with a nice sweet and spicy dipping sauce. I ordered a vegetarian Pad Thai with tofu which was delicious and unusually healthy and colorful as the chef had added some small pieces of broccoli, yellow squash and cauliflower to compensate for lack of chicken or beef. My husband's entree was a wonderful mixture of mussels, shrimp, scallops, squid and calamari in a mildly spiced red curry broth for about $11. Unfortunately, there's no liquor license but the Thai Iced Tea had the perfect amount of sweetness and that distinctive Thai tea orange. Probably I don't want to know what chemicals give it that color but its a classic and totally delicious.
With all that food, drinks and steamed rice we spent $34 before tipping and carried home enough left over food for our next meal.
We hope some other Fresnans will break out of the box and give this nice Mom and Pop shop a try!

Thank frecks28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fresno, CA
1 review
“A Flavorless Adventure in Fresno”
Reviewed April 5, 2008

If you're looking for a great Laotian restaurant in Fresno, a place full of flavor, atmosphere, and friendly/helpful service this is NOT the place you want to visit! Basically if this sign comes into view RUN, don't walk, and find yourself a nice "roach coach". Upon entering the establishment I noticed that it was a generally clean environment, but there were no customers. Just some of the employees' children running around and playing in the abandoned seats where customers should have been. I was actually "greeted" by who I assumed was a customer sloppily eating away at her table who looked up from her food long enough to swallow and tell me to grab a seat anywhere before returning to her feedbag. This should have been a sign to me, but since I was famished I decided to give it a shot.

I ordered from what seemed like an exciting line up of Thai and Laotian food and picked the deep fried quail with garlic served with a spicy lemon sauce. To their merit the food came quickly.. so quickly in fact that they left the flavor in the kitchen. Not to mention that it came without the garlic, lemon, or spices. It was served with a little salt and a side of what seemed like a grocery store pack of sweet and sour sauce. Basically, bland as dirt and definitely NOT what I ordered. When I told the waitress that it wasn't as described in the menu, she told me, "That's what it is" and walked off. Then I noticed that my $6 meal wasn't accompany by a side dish so I had to pay $2 for a small scoop of rice.

The funny thing is that I also ordered a Dr. Pepper and THAT for some reason took forever to reach my table. My theory is that it was held up by the same force that was holding the flavor from my quail hostage in the kitchen. And btw, this vending machine item cost me $1.50.

Other items of note, the bathroom was crowded and small and the toilet wasn't working. The workers in general didn't pay attention to me and were basically not very friendly.

Going back to my seat, I decided to finish my food since I was starving, but when I went to pay I found out that there was a minimum credit card limit which was not displayed anywhere. Instead of letting me go since I was a few cents short of the limit I was forced to purchase another bland item from their flavorless menu just so I can pay and leave as quickly as I could. Unfortunately, I didn't calculate that it would take them 30 minutes to prepare my uncooked salad. So I was stuck in this strange flavorless nursery with kids flying in and out view while I waited patiently to just get the heck out of there.

All-in-all, this is a horrible restaurant that I will never visit or recommend. I would rather have spend my evening eating the heat-lamped burgers at my local McDonald's. At least I would have had SOME flavor, better service, and it could have saved me $10 and the salad now sitting in my trash.

Do Not Go Here!!! Stay Away!!! Save your money and your taste buds!!!

Thank MiniLarprom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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