November 18, 2018

The Many Faces of Larb

Tastemaker
By Janice Binkert | March 10, 2018

Is it larb, laab, laap or larp? That depends on where in the world you are. In the U.S., it’s often just called lettuce wraps. This particular version — from Samsara, the new Southeast Asian restaurant in Traverse City — has its origins in Laos, where it is the unofficial national dish. There, according to Samantha Malasy (co-owner of the restaurant and the “Sam” in its name), it is sometimes served with just rice. Marrying the flavors of minced chicken or beef, onions, cilantro, Thai chili peppers, and fresh lime, Samsara’s larb is garnished with toasted, ground sticky rice. The taste? Umami pure — that combination of sweet, salty, sour, and bitter — with a spicy kick. Crisp lettuce leaves and cooling cucumbers balance the heat. It’s surprising how such a simple dish can create so much sensory excitement. $8.50 for chicken, $10.50 for beef. Samsara, 4025 Chums Village Dr., Traverse City. (231) 486-6155.

 

Trending

Welcome to Michigan’s Most Remote Brewery

After years of planning and honing his beer-making skills, this spring, Patrick McGinnity plans to open Beaver Island’s first microbrewery. Opening a craft brewery is challenging. Opening one on a remote island in Lake Michigan that’s either a 15-minute plane ride or a two-and-a-half-hour ferry ride from ... Read More >>

Gaylord: A boomtown Up North

Gaylord native Gary Scott had moved to Indiana, where he and some partners started a business to invest in distressed properties. He was talking to a banker in Detroit about real estate in Bloomington when he asked what kind of deals might be available in northern Michigan. ... Read More >>

Ready, Set, Shop!

Looking to put some local gifts under your tree this year? Look no further: We've scoured the shops of northern Michigan to find a mix Up North classics and out-of-the-box surprises — at all price points — that'll excite everyone on your list. Behold: Our 2018 picks for ... Read More >>

The Buck is Back

Outdoor sports are a huge draw for both locals and visitors in the area around Gaylord, including golfing, fishing, boating, swimming and skiing, as well as snowmobiling and hunting. The ubiquitousness of the latter pursuit no doubt influenced the naming and logo of the Big Buck Brewery ... Read More >>