This year has been a very good year so far for the West Liberty dining scene. On March 6, Saap Saap, a Laotian and Thai restaurant opened for the first time, making it West Liberty’s second eatery to open in 2021. For anyone looking to quite literally spice up their life, Saap Saap shouldn’t disappoint.
Growing up, Saap Saap co-owner, Rockey Sidaxoth saw for himself just how popular his family’s Laotian cooking was. At graduations and parties, people could not get enough sticky rice. He also observed how well the Laos Café did in the past. After it closed, he knew the time was right for him to open his own business. “We saw how successful the Laos Cafe was and when it was over, we wanted to take over and serve similar food,” he explained.
Coinsurers of flavor, Sidaxoth and Saap Saap’s co-owner, Kay Lovan, look forward to sharing some of their favorite creations with the community, particularly their Pad Lad Nar, Lo Mein, and of course, their sticky rice. For anyone curious about trying their cuisine, Sidaxoth assures them that they will love: “the flavor of Laotian food, the noodles, and the spices. If you like it spicy, we can make it spicy, but if you don’t like it spicy, we won’t do that.”
After holding a private lunch with extended family from Cedar Rapids, Sidaxoth reports that Saap Saap had approximately 100 carry-out orders on its first day. As more people receive COVID-19 vaccines and the pandemic wanes in Muscatine County, he looks forward to opening up the restaurant’s dining room to provide an eat-in option as well.
As Saap Saap starts serving up one of a kind meals to West Liberty residents and people across the county, Sidaxoth looks forward to: “seeing people enjoy our culture and our food, because West Liberty is so diverse. . . To share our culture and our food with the community is what drives us to do what we do.”
If just reading about their specials makes you hungry, everyone at Saap Saap encourages you to stop by and order some of their delicious food (which is in fact what Saap Saap means in Laotian). Currently, Saap Saap offers take out for lunch between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and dinner from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and continuously from noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday.