Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
A Fresno Restaurant Rebirth Made with Love & Thai
gvw_david_taub
By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 6 months ago on
November 3, 2023

Share

Amid Lao dancers, speeches and a ribbon cutting, the latest restaurant from David Rasavong opened Friday in southeast Fresno.

Love & Thai (4821 E. Butler Ave. in Fresno, at the northeast corner of Chestnut Avenue) picked up where his Tasty Thai left off.

Tasty Thai operated at First and Belmont, but closed down in May for safety reasons after racist messages were left about the restaurant on social media. The message perpetuated untrue Asian stereotypes tying in Rasavong’s eatery.

“Today’s our grand opening, but for me today, it marks the end of a chapter that was filled with hate and the beginning of a new one that is filled with love,” Rasavong said at the opening.

Rasavong recalled the morning when social media comments were directed toward him and his family, filled with “hate and anger.”

“I remember waking up my wife and said, hey, I think we have a problem. And then I also remember calling my brother and saying, hey, I think I need your help. And then when we realized how bad it got, I remember talking to my parents and saying, Hey, I don’t think we can open today,” Rasavong recalled during Friday’s grand opening.

Despite the hardship, Rasavong received messages of encouragement, not just locally, but globally as well. The community reached out with love and support, and Rasavong rebounded with his new Love and Thai.

“The amount of love and kindness that we receive, that’s something that I do wish upon everyone. I wish that everybody could feel what we have felt once the word got out and the support that we received,” Rasavong said.

Fresno City Councilman Luis Chavez said he admired Rasavong’s tenacity and not letting the haters upset his life.

“This is a story about resilience,” Chavez said. “What was really inspiring is that because of something negative and nasty that occurred, something beautiful was born.”

David Rasavong speaks at the Love & Thai grand opening, Friday, Nov. 3, 2023. The restaurant is at 4281 E. Butler Ave. (at the Chestnut Avenue intersection) in Fresno. (GV Wire/David Taub)

On the Menu

Love & Thai calls itself a Lao-Thai kitchen with a menu that reflects southeast Asian cuisine.

The by-number menu can be ordered at the counter and offers more than 50 dishes. Choices include several noodle combinations; traditional — such as Lao beef jerky — Laab chicken, beef, and fish; specialty plates such as basil and curry dishes; with sides like rice and sausage.

Love & Thai offers several tables to enjoy the meal, and there’s a mural depicting the Rasavong immigrant family journey — traveling through San Francisco to Fresno.

“I love the mural that you have inside because it symbolizes the history of the immigrant story in our community,” Chavez said.

(Correction: an earlier version of this story identified the dancers as Hmong. They are Lao.)

Egg rolls (above) are on the Love & Thai appetizer menu. (below) Love & Thai owner David Rasavong, left, shows Fresno City Councilmember Luis Chavez the menu at the restaurant’s opening, Friday, Nov. 4, 2023.  (GV Wire/David Taub)

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

Surprising Ways and Places You Can Use SNAP EBT Food Benefits

DON'T MISS

Californians Worry About Crime, Setting up a Ballot Measure Showdown

DON'T MISS

The Pickle Flavor Frenzy and Its Rise in Food Trends

DON'T MISS

Kate Hudson Had a Lifetime to Make a Record. The Result is ‘Glorious,’ Out in May

DON'T MISS

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

DON'T MISS

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

DON'T MISS

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

DON'T MISS

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

DON'T MISS

Real Estate Experts Talk Fresno’s Economic Future. Are Tough Times Ahead?

DON'T MISS

Unlocking the Secrets to Fresno State’s Superb Baseball Season

UP NEXT

Abandoned Pup LB Finds Hope and Healing. He’s Available for Adoption at Mell’s Mutts.

UP NEXT

$11M State Grant Will Help Fresno’s Emergency Shelter Beds, Mental Health Services

UP NEXT

Did City Council Finally Give New NW Fresno Costco a Green Light?

UP NEXT

Prop 47 Reformers Send Nearly a Million Signatures to Sacramento

UP NEXT

Big Names in Rap, Christian Music, and Comedy Headline Must-See Weekend Entertainment

UP NEXT

Attorney Suing Fresno Grizzlies for $5 Million Is No Stranger to ‘Ladies Night’ Cases

UP NEXT

Hagrid Has a Bit of a Playful Side, but the Heart of a Giant. And He’s Ready for Adoption

UP NEXT

Don Arax Talks About His New Football Job at Visalia’s Central Valley Christian

UP NEXT

Dem House Challengers Salas, Gray Flex Fundraising Muscle

UP NEXT

State Will Monitor Crop-Rich Kings County Region to Preserve Groundwater

David Taub,
Senior Reporter
Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

Kate Hudson Had a Lifetime to Make a Record. The Result is ‘Glorious,’ Out in May

2 days ago

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

2 days ago

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

2 days ago

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

2 days ago

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

2 days ago

Real Estate Experts Talk Fresno’s Economic Future. Are Tough Times Ahead?

2 days ago

Unlocking the Secrets to Fresno State’s Superb Baseball Season

2 days ago

‘This Is How to Improve Reading Proficiency. We Just Have To Execute It’: FUSD Board President

2 days ago

Does Dyer Support (or Endorse) Bredefeld for Supervisor?

2 days ago

Get a 3D First Look at Merced’s High-Speed Rail Station Design

2 days ago

Surprising Ways and Places You Can Use SNAP EBT Food Benefits

Did you know that SNAP EBT benefits used to be called food stamps and that recipients can use those benefits to get healthy food in places o...

16 hours ago

16 hours ago

Surprising Ways and Places You Can Use SNAP EBT Food Benefits

16 hours ago

Californians Worry About Crime, Setting up a Ballot Measure Showdown

2 days ago

The Pickle Flavor Frenzy and Its Rise in Food Trends

2 days ago

Kate Hudson Had a Lifetime to Make a Record. The Result is ‘Glorious,’ Out in May

2 days ago

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

2 days ago

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

2 days ago

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

2 days ago

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend