Find Thai food, sushi at Little Blue Elephant

Moving from New York City to Minot has allowed one man to make his dreams come true.

Kane Thedsomboon turned his dream into reality the week before Thanksgiving when he opened his own restaurant in downtown Minot, Little Blue Elephant.

Thedsomboon’s restaurant specializes in authentic Thai cuisine and sushi.

“We serve fresh meat – pork, beef and chicken – and have fresh seafood, too,” Thedsomboon said. “I do have duck, and I might have a special like softshell crab and all the finger food, like appetizers.”

The recipes at Little Blue Elephant come from Thedsomboon’s mother, and feature a wide assortment of options.

Some of the popular items on the menu so far have been the traditional noodle dishes such as Drunken Noodles, which has sauteed thick rice noodles with chili, spinach, carrot, onions and egg in a tasty basil sauce, and Yakisoba, which is popular with those who don’t like spicy food and has sauteed egg noodles with mixed vegetables in a light seasoning sauce.

Some other suggestions Thedsomboon has include the Honey & Tamarind Duck, a crispy roasted duck sauteed with bell pepper, broccoli, asparagus, dry roasted chili and kiwi in a natural honey and tamarind sauce; and Pho Noodle Soup, a Thai and Vietnamese soup with a slice of beef, meat ball, green onion and cilantro served with bean sprouts, basil, a piece of lime and chili hoisin sauce.

“And then I’m going to have a special every week,” Thedsomboon said, “to let everybody try something a little different.”

There is also a party room customers can reserve for special occasions such as birthdays or wedding receptions. The room can hold 30 to 50 people, while the entire restaurant can fit 100 to 120 people.

Thedsomboon is also proud of his sushi chef, Sumo Srisamer, who has around 20 years of experience creating dishes that are as much art as they are food.

“He learned how to do sushi when he was a 12-year-old boy, and he has experience working at a famous, well-known hotel in Thailand,” Thedsomboon said, noting he himself also has around 20 years of experience in the restaurant business.

For those interested in trying out some sushi but aren’t sure what to get, Thedsomboon recommends the Superbowl Roll, which is shrimp tempura, snow crab and cream cheese topped with eel, tuna, salmon, crab and special sauce. Other sushi suggestions include the Lobster Roll and Spider Roll.

Thedsomboon said they have sushi rolls for every taste, including from Thailand, New York City and even Florida.

Thedsomboon came to Minot in 2012 from New York City, where he worked at The Four Seasons Restaurant. A friend told him about all the opportunities possible for someone who could provide an authentic Thai cuisine experience, and Thedsomboon became excited by the idea of striking out on his own. He started out small, with a food truck, and contacted Minot Air Force Base to see if they would be interested in hosting him.

“She asked me what kind of food I wanted to sell on base and I said Thai food,” Thedsomboon said. “Then they said, ‘Oh wow, everybody loves Thai food and sushi.’ “

He ran the food truck at Minot Air Force Base for a few months to see how it would go, and it was a huge success. This led to a long-term contract and Thedsomboon was kept extremely busy with all the hungry airmen for the rest of 2012.

Things went so well Thedsomboon was eventually asked about opening a full-time restaurant in Minot so the airmen could try a wider variety of dishes than the food truck was able to offer.

“A lot of people loved it. It was very popular,” he said.

While Little Blue Elephant is only a few months old, it has been doing extremely well and Thedsomboon is already thinking about the future. One of his ideas is to open a second restaurant in Minot that would feature a fusion of other culinary styles, such as Italian or French.

Thedsomboon couldn’t be happier about how Little Blue Elephant is doing so far. He said people have continually complimented him on the ambiance, food and service, which he appreciates. He also appreciates how welcoming everyone in town and at the base have been, which has made his time in Minot that much more enjoyable.