Katy Noochla-or and husband Billy Heinzman, who co-own Tuk Tuk Thai in Beverlywood, Rambutan Thai in Silver Lake and Chadaka Thai in Burbank, hope to open Soi 56 in Hollywood this March, specializing in Thai street food. “Soi 56 is a street [in Bangkok] where they have a lot of great noodle shops,” said Heinzman. 5 and 6 are also the last two digits in the address.
Noochla-or’s family is originally from Bangkok, but has had restaurants in Los Angeles for 35 years, starting Chao Krung on Hollywood Boulevard before moving it to the Fairfax district 32 years ago. “Mom’s place,” as Heinzman calls it, is likely the oldest Thai restaurant in L.A. “Katy’s mother has 8 sisters, and they all cook,” says Heinzman. “All the cousins cook too.” The chef at Soi 56 will be family member Aoi Ratanamanee.
The space previously housed a Russian restaurant called Astoria, which was best known for their gold lame curtains, stage with dancing girls and liberal vodka consumption.
Five years ago, Rusay met the couple at Rambutan Thai while watching a Lakers game. For the redesign, he featured concrete floors, light wood, a white-topped bar, and bamboo lanterns.
Soi 56 should open in March, but they won’t have a wine and beer license until April. When they do, expect craft beers on tap, including “palatable lighter beers for spicy food,” St. Bernardus ABT 12 and Schneider wheat beer.