Food & Wine Names Kalaya One of America’s Best New Restaurants

But we already knew that.

The dining room at Kalaya | Photo by Ian Shiver

We’ve been singing Kalaya’s praises for a while, even before it was nominated for a James Beard award for Best New Restaurant. Now, Food & Wine magazine has included the restaurant in it’s annual round-up of America’s Best New Restaurants. In the article, Food & Wine‘s restaurant editor writes that half the reason to go to Kalaya is for the food, and half is to meet owner Chutatip “Nok” Suntaranon. We also happen to agree with that. The magazine’s July issue also recognizes Camille Cogswell as one of the country’s best new chefs, an announcement that was made just a few weeks before she was let go from CooknSolo.

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, Suntaranon has served takeout and has offered free meals for food industry workers who have lost their jobs.

“At first, we were cooking the food from the walk-ins of restaurants that had fully shut down,” Suntaron told Food & Wine. “And we also had a lot of donations from our community. We make things like chicken and rice, pork belly, mac and cheese, and lots of pasta … At first, we were feeding around 75 people per day. Now, we are feeding on average 30 people per day. We give out meals six days a week, and we are now also cooking meals for frontline workers at hospitals.”

She also recently began outdoor dining, seating just a limited number of diners on sidewalk tables outside the restaurant. Reservations are currently available on OpenTable, and the restaurant is still accepting takeout and delivery orders through their website.