food,  Tribute

Goodnight, Mr. Charoenrat

I was quite saddened to learn of Darawan Charoenrat’s passing, especially since I’m only now hearing about it, three months after the fact. His legendary Thai restaurant Kanomwan on Telephone Road was my second home in college and for many years after. S3, the Tom Ka Gai soup was magic. I could have lived on it. Yes, he was gruff and unfriendly on the surface, but as I got to know him I discovered that he was actually a sweet, generous, and very funny man. He even helped me create my own (horrible) imitation S3 once!

Heaven in a Bowl

RIP genius


  • Terri

    I loved Kanomwan. It was a staple of my dining out for years, especially while I worked at the Univ. of Houston and lived nearby.

    Being the insensitive people that we were, we called Mr. Charoenwat “Ken” for short. I have two favorite memories of him.

    1. “Not good not hot!”: said to me in response to my question about making a particular dish less spicy. While some might find this rude, we had an established client-proprietor relationship at that point and I took it to mean something like “come on! You know better than that.”

    2. Ehhh! (he would smile and wave and then…) Uh! (he would point to a table): This was how he greeted us every time we came to his restaurant. (this was close to 20 years ago.)

    RIP, Ken. You will be remembered well by many patrons.

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