By Susan Connors
News Staff Writer 

New Kualoa Restaurant Celebrates With Ribbon Cutting

Laotian and Thai Specialties Offer Variety for Area Diners


Last updated 9/26/2023 at 2:39pm

Susan Connors

A large group of family members gathered for the ribbon cutting of Lake Wales' newest restaurant this week. Kualao serves a large menu of Laotian and Thai dishes from their restaurant at 114 West Central Avenue.

Lake Wales newest restaurant, Kualao, celebrated its recent opening with a ribbon cutting this week, hosting an enthusiastic group of fans to free samples of their creative and authentic cuisine.

A group of local guests and an impressively large family gathered for the event this week, which was co-hosted by the Lake Wales Area Chamber of Commerce.

Chef & owner Manivanh Kai Kounnavong introduced a few flavorful samples from their kitchen and shared some interesting facts about Laotian cuisine. She explained that the preparation of many dishes are time-consuming and rely on the freshness of ingredients, but each dish is "made to order" to assure that they carry the full flavor as intended.

The food is very mild as served, but a range of homemade sauces are offered with a variety of levels from sweet and sour to spicy.

Susan Connors

Chef owner Manivanh Kai Kounnavong shows off a plate of Jasmine fried rice with egg, onion and garlic.

A variety of seafood, meat, and vegetarian meals are offered on the extensive menu, including specialty dishes such as Lemongrass Pulled Pork, Drunken Noodles, and Pad phey pa duk, which is fried catfish served in a spicy sauce with basil and kaffir leaves.

The restaurant offers 12 appetizers including spring rolls, meatball skewers, and sai gok moo, which is grilled sausage with spices and herbs. There are a variety of other noodle and curry dishes, breaded and fried rice sticks, and six specialty soups.

Kualoa also offers a selection of popular Thai dishes.

Several members of the family plan to be active in the food preparation at the restaurant, and welcome their guests to dine in or take out.

Kualoa is located at 114 West Central Avenue in downtown Lake Wales.


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