Owners open doors on new venture months after racist rumors shutter Fresno restaurant

There will be a grand opening for the new business on October 19.

Kate Nemarich Image
Tuesday, October 3, 2023
Owners open new venture after racist rumors shutter Fresno restaurant
More than four months have passed since Fresno's Tasty Thai was forced to close due to false, racist online rumors and threats.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- More than four months have passed since the owner of Fresno's "Tasty Thai" was forced to close the restaurant due to false, racist online rumors and threats to his business and family.

Now, he's opening the doors of a new venture.

Love and Thai opened Tuesday morning at 11 at Butler and Chestnut.

Within minutes, customers stopped owner David Rasavong outside to tell him they'd been waiting for a chance to support his business since they heard Tasty Thai had to shut down.

Rasavong was ready to welcome them in.

One woman, Holly, said she's been following owner Rasavong's updates online after his previous restaurant closed.

"They were treated so badly for something they didn't do," said Holly." So, they deserve all the support they can get from the community and being a small business, especially."

Tuesday, she finally had that chance.

The perseverance to begin again comes as no shock to friends who have supported Rasavong in the journey.

"David is such an amazing person who cares about his community, cares about his family, and it shows with everything he's doing," said Patrick Kimball, a friend of Rasavong.

For Rasavong, Tasty Thai was a way to thank his parents for all they've done for their family.

With Love and Thai, he's leaning into that message more.

"It was the universe's way of saying you have a bigger purpose in a way," said Rasavong. "And they've done a lot more for you than you know. So this is going to be a bigger way of saying thank you for everything you've done for me and for our family. "

Love and family are at the forefront. Personal photos line the hall, but it's a mural that captures attention as you walk through the door depicting Rasavong's mother's journey from Champasak Laos to San Francisco and eventually to Fresno.

An ode to a woman Rasavong said often expresses her love through food.

That labor of love is shared with Fresno as she cooks many of the dishes served in the restaurant.

"My mom makes an amazing crispy pork belly," said Rasavong. "If you like spice, the spicy dipping suddenly comes with it. It just marries with the crispy approach and the tenderness of the pork belly so well."

Out of loss, Rasavong starts again with new hope and gratitude.

"I just want to thank everybody," said Rasavong. "And I just hope that everybody has a chance to enjoy what we created, and we can all just enjoy it together."

Love and Thai will be open daily from 11 am to 8 pm.

There will be a grand opening on October 19.

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