La Thai, the Prytania Street restaurant known for introducing Louisiana-inspired Thai cuisine to New Orleans is closing this month, and a restaurant called Costera will open in its place.
Diana Chauvin-Gallé is the chef and co-owner of the Uptown building along with her husband, former WDSU weatherman Jay Gallé. Nola.com reports that the couple will maintain ownership of the space and lease it to two veterans of Donald Link’s restaurant group. According to a pending liquor license for 4938 Prytania Street, the restaurant will be called Costera.
Chauvin-Gallé’s mother, Pannee Varnishung, came to New Orleans in the 1970s, opening Mai Tai on the West Bank, considered to be the first Thai restaurant in the area. The family also operated Bangkok Cuisine in Mid City for more than 25 years until Hurricane Katrina forced its closure in 2005. The family opened La Thai in January 2008.
Excitingly, Chauvin-Gallé is working on restaurant dedicated to Northern Thai and Laotian street food, and hopes to open in the spring.
The Spanish word “costera” translates to coastal. The Advocate reports that the couple is leasing the building to individuals formerly of the Link Restaurant Group, chef Donald Link’s company, but would not name them. Eater has reached out for more information on the new leasers.
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