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Entreprenuer opens second tai restaurant

Co-owners Lo Chang and Pheng Xiong are running their second restaurant. Photo by G. Ouzounian (click for larger version)
November 30, 2011 - Lake Orion has experienced a sudden surge of Tai food with three restaurants opening in the past year and the newest addition is taking a modest approach.

Bangkok Crossing, located at 193 N. Park Blvd., has come into the community of Lake Orion with an large menu, large portions and comparatively low prices - ranging from $6.95 to $16.95 for take out trays stuffed to the brim.

Co-owner and cook Lo Chang said he chose Lake Orion as the spot to open his new restaurant because of the friend's he had in the area.

"We're down here a lot visiting a couple buddies and we started to like the city," said Chang. "We opened the first one down in Detroit and that one is doing well. We decided to branch out and see how we could do."

Chang is the first to admit that Tai food can have a tendency to taste very similar across the board and despite the cook. He brought up his other restaurant, noting how his four main chefs there tend to have indistinguishable food.

"But when I cook the food, people somehow know it's me," he said. "The waitress will come back and even though it's the same dish, they will ask her if I'm back here."

Some dishes recommended by Chang and his wife and co-owner Pheng Xiong were Bangkok Chicken ($12.95 for a lightly breaded chicken stir-fried in special sweet and sour sauce), Drunken Noodles ($6.95 to $10.25 for stir-fried bean thread noodles with bean sprouts, onion, egg and a choice of meat), and their best seller - Pad Thai ($6.95 to $10.25 for Stir-fried rice noodles with bean sprouts, green onion and egg topped with grounded peanut and raw bean sprouts - also with a choice of meat.)

Xiong added the steak used by the restaurant is particularly good and said most herb used by Chang were personally ground up and prepared.

The two originally came to the country as children during the closing days of the Vietnam War. Chang, who has been in the business for around 25 years, started as a waiter back when Tai food was a rare sight in Michigan. One day, a chef didn't show up and his boss simply said he needed him to cook.

As for any personal messages to the hungry people of Lake Orion, Chang simply said "people get the same things here, but don't be afraid to try something new."

Bangkok Crossing's hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mon. to Thurs., 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, and 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. They can be reached at (248) 693-5528 or online at (designed by a man who asked for no pay, but only to eat at the restaurant.)

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