Last fall, when ChoLon chef Lon Symensma emailed me a photo of a northern Thai dish called khao soi, I studied it closely. The picture detailed a bowl of rich-looking curried coconut broth with hunks of chicken and both wet and dry noodles. It looked like a dish of contrasts. It looked delicious.

At the time, Symensma and fellow chef Ryan Gorby were eating their way through southeast Asia to find inspiration for Cho77. Now, this coming Monday, Symensma’s much-anticipated casual Asian street food shop opens in Baker. And sure enough, the menu includes khao soi—although at Cho77, it’s simply called Thai coconut curry.

The simplified name is very intentional: all of Cho77’s dishes are written and served plainly. “This is ChoLon’s laid-back sister,” Symensma says. “It’s totally unfussy.” Consider Cho77’s offerings as everyman food for everyday (entrées average $11 to $15). Indeed, after just a couple preview bites yesterday, I know I’ll tuck into the Thai curry regularly.

Symensma serves the dish in a tiffin, a metal lunchbox of sorts used throughout Singapore, Malaysia, and India. He plates the crispy noodles in one section (along with pickled mustard greens) and the curried wet noodles in another. This allows for the individual components to maintain their integrity until you’re ready to eat them. Build each bite as you go, and temper the curry’s heat with nibbles of the cooling greens.

You can try this dish—and 17 others—starting Monday, March 30, at 4 p.m. Cho77 will serve dinner daily.

Extra: It’s been a busy month for Symensma. On March 9, he took over (and revamped) the menu at the Cooper Lounge in Union Station.

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Amanda M. Faison
Amanda M. Faison
Freelance writer Amanda M. Faison spent 20 years at 5280 Magazine, 12 of those as Food Editor.