A venerable East Dallas center is about to get a new buzzy Asian restaurant, opening its second location: Zaap Kitchen Lao & Thai Street Eats, a Greenville Avenue restaurant that serves food from Laos and Thailand, is opening a location at Casa Linda Plaza, at the corner of Buckner Boulevard and Garland Road.
Owner Tony Singharaj confirmed that he and his family are opening their second location and aim to have it open by the end of the year.
Construction is currently underway. A spokesperson for Edens, which owns Casa Linda Plaza, said that the restaurant will open on the northeast corner, in the same quadrant as Petco.
"The space is being renovated and getting a facelift by the landlord right now," Singharaj says. "And then once they are done, we can start building out the interior."
Zaap serves Laotian cuisine alongside Thai street food. Singharaj and his wife opened their first location in 2018 at 6107 Greenville Ave. to bring Laotian food to a new neighborhood.
Singharaj is a restaurant veteran whose brother Boi owns Sabaidee Lao & Thai Cuisine, which, like Zaap, offers both Laotian and Thai dishes. But its two locations — the original at 5200 Lemmon Ave. and a second that opened in Rowlett in early 2019 — are take-out only. (Sabaidee is also opening a location in Prosper, still under construction.)
Zaap was designed as a more spacious place where diners could sit down.
They make everything to order and with a higher level of spice than other Asian cuisines. "Laotian flavors are more bold," a Zaap spokesperson says.
There is sizzling Lao sausage, heavenly beef jerky, crispy wings, dancing garlic riblets, and juicy pork shoulder bites. Pineapple fried rice is a dish with ingredients that teeter between savory and sweet, with egg, cashews, pineapple, raisins, peas, carrots, onion, tomato, and garlic.
There's Laotian fried rice with egg, white onions, green onion, tomato, and garlic, which you can get as-is or with chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, or tofu.
Zaap follows a fast-casual service model, to make it faster for those who are on tight lunch hours, and its to-go business is brisk.