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  • Writer's pictureThe Linguistic Foodie

ThaiYada ไทยญาดา: a story of bringing an authentic Thai Experience to Rochester

Updated: Nov 1, 2022

From the compassionate, helpful staff to the delicious food, the authentic Thai restaurant ThaiYada is a treasure trove of Thai culture and cuisine in downtown Rochester. ThaiYada serves all your favorite classic Thai dishes from Pad Thai ผัดไทย to Tom Yum ต้มยำ, including Pad See Ew ผัดซีอิ๊ว, Gaeng Keow Wan (green curry) แกงเขียวหวาน, and Thai Iced Tea. Viroj (Vj) Chaisomboonpan, the owner of ThaiYada, grew up working with his father in the kitchen in Thailand and has since developed a deep passion and love for cooking Thai food.

After visiting a family friend and realizing

the absence of good Thai food in Rochester, Vj saw an opportunity to introduce authentic cuisine to the community. Subsequently, the Chaisomboonpan family moved from California to Rochester, and after searching for the perfect location, they opened ThaiYada on Alexander Street in 2017. To create the compelling name behind the restaurant, Vj implemented parts of both his daughter’s names, combining the "Ya" in Yanisa and "da" in Wiyada to make “Yada.”

Completely family-owned and run, this restaurant employs family recipes from generations ago to produce the best quality and tasting food. Vj reports, “ThaiYada is special in that we put our love into everything we make. We make our dishes exactly like how it would be made in Thailand by using authentic Thai herbs, like lemongrass and galangal, and making our own sauces and chili paste.”

Not only do the staff at ThaiYada produce fresh and authentic food, but they also emphasize creating a meaningful customer experience. “We value making connections with customers and having conversations with them, and I always put in my best effort to remember the names of our regular customers and get to know them, especially by memorizing their order,” exclaims Vj.

Additionally, the restaurant has an open kitchen, so customers can see their order being prepared right in front of them and smell the aromas of Thai spices. Although ThaiYada is a small restaurant that emphasizes take-out, the experience of watching the family cook and serve the food to you is truly unique.

Vj has gone through many challenges throughout his journey of starting a functioning restaurant, but he is proud that his dreams have finally come true. He reflects, “To me, ThaiYada is an opportunity where I can enjoy what I am doing and provide for my family, while also spreading Thai culture to others and opening their eyes to the riches of Thai food.”

After building a restaurant from the ground up, Vj hopes to inspire his kids that they should also pursue their dreams. He continues, “I never thought that I would be standing here cooking for thousands of people in Rochester and informing people about Thai culture. It is a true gift to know that people are eating the food that my wife and I cook.” Vj wants ThaiYada to be a place where people can go outside of their comfort zones and and most importantly, feel valued.

From my own personal experience, I can attest that the food at ThaiYada is not only tasty, but also accommodating--they can modify many of their dishes to be vegan or vegetarian friendly. As a vegetarian and lover of Asian cuisine, I found it refreshing to see a variety of options that could suit my dietary specifications, rather than just a small box of text in the corner of the menu with salads labelled “vegan.”

It was clear from these interactions that the staff at ThaiYada are compassionate, understanding, helpful people and treat their customers with respect and kindness.

Located on 315 Alexander St, the fresh and delectable food, the wonderful staff, and motivating story make ThaiYada the place to find an authentic and satisfying Thai cuisine experience in Rochester. 

ThaiYada can teach us about the culture of Thailand, and that includes the Thai language! Thai is a southeast asian language which is a member of the Kra-Dai langauge family.

Languages of Thailand

The Thai Script is notorious for being extremely difficult! Many langauges have given vocabulary and have influence on Thai, including Sanskrit, Chinese, Khmer, Portuguese, and English. Thai also has regional dialects, which include Phu Thai, Shan, Song, Isan, Southern Thai, Nyaw, Northern Thai, Phuan and Lu.

While Thai is spoken by the majority of people in Thailand, there are also 71 languages spoken in Thailand. These languages are in many different language families, like the Kra-Dai language family, Austroasiatic language family, and Sino-Tibetan language family. There are 17 threatened languages and 7 dying languages. For example, the languages of Lanna, Chong, Kensiw, and Amok are severely endangered and revitalization programs are on the rise. Learn more here:

ลาก่อน Goodbye!

-The Linguistic Foodie :)

Parts of this blog post were adapted from work I did in the Trapezoid newspaper of Brighton High School

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