Chef Lalita of Osha Thai is our featured December #SinghaStories! A native of Nongkhai in Northeast Thailand, Chef Lalita Souksamlane discovered her passion for cooking at a very young age by helping her father in the kitchen. Unlike traditional Thai families, her father did all of the cooking.
He taught her his craft and inspired her to open her own restaurant someday. Today, she has kept many of her father’s original recipes alive in her dishes at Osha Thai and Lao Table. Souksamlane completed culinary school at Suan Dusit Rajabhat University in Thailand. In 1995 she moved to San Francisco with her sister Wassana Korkhieola to pursue her lifelong dream of opening her own Thai restaurant.
Just one year later, and that dream turned into a reality with the opening of Osha Thai on Geary Street in 1996. Her dream didn’t end there. Over the next few years, Osha Thai thrived and expanded beyond her wildest dreams with the opening of seven San Francisco locations.
Osha Thai has even expanded overseas back to Lalita’s home country with two locations in Bangkok. Over two decades later, and Lalita shows no signs of slowing down. In 2016 she celebrated the 20th anniversary of Osha Thai with the opening of an entirely new concept; Lao Table. In hopes to give her guests a more personal dining experience, Lao Table highlights the cuisine from her home region of Northeastern Thailand / Laos, and offers an authentic experience through Laotian cuisine, with a modern twist. She is honored to be able to connect with her guests on another level by serving cuisine that she was raised on. Lalita believes that quality and authenticity are two main factors that set her cuisine apart, but passion is the most important factor that makes the experience truly unique. You can find Lalita in the kitchen any given day, creating dishes like five spiced Kurobuta pork belly, housemade Laotian style sausages, Spicy tuna tartare, Tamarind-Chili marinated ribeye steak and many more traditional Laotian/Thai classics with modern twists.