Bai Bua Thai restaurant opened in the East Village this past October. The family-run business is another great addition to our neighborhood’s abundance of independently owned shops and services, and as co-owner Ben recently told us, it just seemed like a great place to set up shop. “We would drive past this area often, and we noticed the people that were walking in the area,” Ben says. “We noticed all the nice cafes. The atmosphere is great, it is really nice and it actually feels like a neighbourhood. We already have our regular customers.” With over two decades of combined restaurant experience in the family, Ben’s niece, sister, and brother-in-law all run Bai Bua together. Just recently they’ve hired on four additional employees because of how busy they are. ‘Bai Bua’ means lotus leaf, which is considered a sacred flower in Thailand, and is used in both cuisine and natural medicine. The restaurant is open for both lunch and dinner service, and offers up authentic Thai comforts like pad ped, khana mu krop, and pad prik pao – just to name a few. Ben says his favorite dish is their Pad Thai, which we’re dying to try here at the office. “We try to make our food as authentic as possible,” says Ben. “We import various ingredients straight from Thailand.” Bai Bua Thai is located at 2443 E Hastings Street, and is open Tuesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner. Visit their website for more information, and follow their Facebook and Instagram for the latest.