As of yesterday, the Capitol Hill space at 1121 E Pike St — which once housed the embattled Boom Noodle/Kaisho enterprise — is home to the latest expansion of upscale Thai restaurant Bai Tong.
Chanpen Lapangkura opened the first Bai Tong (which is Thai for “banana leaf”) near Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in 1989. Lapangkura, a former flight attendant, envisioned the business as offering a taste of home for Thai Airways crew members. Bai Tong has since expanded, and operates locations in Tukwila, Redmond, and Issaquah; Lapangkura passed the restaurant onto a new generation of owners in 2005.
Bai Tong marketing director Tucky Wongpaka told Eater that the latest location will serve the same menu of “elegant” Thai dishes you’ll find at the other three restaurants. But, knowing the restaurant must cater to a Capitol Hill crowd, the owners have also added street food fare unique to this location, like simple curry and rice dishes and to-go options, plus a full bar and extended nighttime hours.
The Madison Holdings group tried out several concepts in this space before surrendering in August 2016, beginning with the Japanese-inspired Boom Noodle in 2007, then Kaisho in 2014, then reverting back to Boom Noodle in 2015.
1121 E Pike St., (206) 787-8448, website. Open Monday to Friday 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday 12 p.m. to 12 a.m., and Sunday 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.