Lao Laan Xang

So, as I selected my five favorite places to write about this week, it became pretty clear that one continent dominates all others. Asian cuisine is my star.  We've got our Lao/Thai, our Indian, our Chinese, and now back around to Lao, with the much-loved Lao Laan Xang.

image from

This Madison classic has two east-side locations, one on Willy St. (1146 Williamson St.) and in in the Atwood neighborhood (2098 Atwood Avenue). Although I've heard that the original Willy St. location is superior, we have for some reason only ever gone to the Atwood Lao Laan Xang (perhaps because it's right across the street from our favorite walnut burger at Monty's Blue Plate).

Besides, the Atwood location has beautiful art, among them my favorite colorful top-of-conical-hat painting. Anyone want to find/make a reproduction for me to hang in my living room? Pretty please?

Lao Laan Xang offers all of the cool and delicate flavors that I first missed so much when eating at Vientiane. The spring rolls filled with cold noodles and cucumbers and peanuts, served with a delicate sweet chili sauce, capture those missing flavors exactly:
image from

But the real main attraction, the dish that keeps me coming back for more and more, the big kahuna, is the mango curry. curry. Just the thought if it is making me hungry and filling me with cravings. Something about the way that LLX puts together chunks of mango, squash, potato, broccoli, and tofu (or the meat of your choice), with a luxuriantly creamy and almost velvety curry makes this dish pretty unbeatable. We get it with medium to hot spice level, which contrasts the creaminess of the sauce just perfectly.  So delicious.
image from
We've tried other entrees at Lao Laan Xang, but whenever we do, though they may be tasty, we always just wish we'd ordered mango curry instead. It's unbeatable. 

See all my "Restaurant Week" posts: Vientiane, Maharani, Fugu, Lao Laan Xang, Dayton Street Grille


  1. Just in case any readers remain unconvinced of the deliciousness of the mango curry after your glowing endorsement, let me just add: it also contains pineapple. Mmmmm.

  2. Thanks for this review. I'm new to the Madison area and am so glad to have found out about this restaurant. I went to the Willy St. location this weekend and the mango curry is amazing just like you said! It's subtly rich and delicate in flavoring at the same time...just so good! Thanks again. :)

    P.S. I really enjoy your blog. You have some great insights. Thanks for writing.

  3. Hi Malvo! Thanks for the feedback, and for your shared love of the mango curry! I'd love to help answer any questions about Madison as you settle in, so let me know...


Post a Comment