All Thai’d up: After a year of preparation, Chandara Thai opens in Grass Valley | TheUnion.com

All Thai’d up: After a year of preparation, Chandara Thai opens in Grass Valley

Growing up in Bangkok, Thailand, Kittikom Sinprasong was often responsible for cooking meals for his sister and four brothers.

He'd work diligently over the stove, perfecting classic Thai cuisine using fresh ingredients available in local markets.

Armed with the knowledge he gained while in the kitchen, Sinprasong is now the owner of five locations of Chandara Thai. The newest restaurant in the collection opened Sept. 7 in Grass Valley, in the Pine Creek Center on Freeman Lane. Sinprasong's business partner Sandy Borrivong helps manage the new space.

It took nearly a year of construction to complete the Grass Valley location. Sinprasong himself designed the wood facade in the space's special event room, and much attention was paid to the dark, comfortable interior that is speckled with gold stars and traditional Thai artwork. (Chandara translates to "moon and stars" in the Thai language, and is also the name of Sinprasong's wife.)

Sinprasong's journey to heading his own restaurants began in 1992, when he relocated from Bangkok to Southern California to assist his sister in the operation of her Chinese restaurant.

"I'm a lawyer in Thailand," said Sinprasong. "I went to Southern California to help my sister open her restaurant. She only had one (restaurant). I was with them for five years, then she had four."

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After helping his sister hone her restaurant skills, Sinprasong set his sights on opening his own restaurant. Five establishments later, his passion for cooking authentic Thai cuisine remains strong.

For those with a palate for the spicy, Sinprasong said he is ready to bring tears to your eyes.

"It's my job to make them cry," Sinprasong said with a laugh.

However, if you prefer the mild, that's OK, too. He said he and his team are there to make sure your experience at Chandara Thai suits your tastes and needs.

Nothing comes from a can, he said. No MSG will be found in the kitchens at Chandara Thai, and all fresh ingredients are cut and prepared daily. With their many variety of dishes featuring noodles, Sinprasong said even kids will be easily convinced to try what he has to offer.

Sinprasong was happy to share that Chandara Thai's recent lunches have been packed and that fans on social media have been supportive since long before the restaurant opened its doors.

"We do the best we can do," said Sinprasong. "We have a good chef, a good team, good service. New everything in the kitchen. The more people who come, the better."

Chandara Thai is open daily 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. They are located at 716 Freeman Lane in Grass Valley and can be reached at 530-802-5168.

Jennifer Nobles is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at jnobles@theunion.com or 530-477-4231.

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