Pa Houa Vang and her husband, Chao Thao, opened Taste of Thai restaurant last Monday — yes, on Labor Day — in Suite 106 at 205 S. Holmen Drive in Holmen. It’s in the same multi-tenant building that houses Holmen Ace Hardware & Rental.

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STEVE CAHALAN | For the La Crosse Tribune

Vang predicted some of the Thai restaurant’s most popular menu items will be chicken satay, egg rolls, fried rice, pad thai, pad see ew, tom yum soup and regular pho noodle soup. And she predicted two of the restaurant’s most popular desserts will be fried banana and sticky rice with mango.

But Thai ice cream roll — a trendy new menu item in Thailand and more recently in the U.S. — probably won’t be available for another week because some equipment hasn’t arrived. “We’ll have 10 flavors” of ice cream rolls once the equipment for making them arrives, Vang said.

The new restaurant’s hours are 4 to 8:30 p.m., Monday, 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday; 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sunday.

Taste of Thai’s telephone number is 608-399-1585 and it’s on Facebook. It soon will have a website.

Vang and her husband were born in Thailand and have worked in several restaurants over the years. Thao moved from Thailand to the La Crosse area in 1992. Vang moved from Thailand to California in 1994 and to the La Crosse area in 1995.

Lylli & Ivi Cakes & Sweet Treat Cafe opened Sept. 1 at 16846 S. Davis St., on the town square in downtown Galesville.

Owner Rachel Perez named her new cake shop/coffee cafe after her two daughters. It specializes in fancy cakes — including wedding and special-occasion cakes — but also makes such things as cinnamon rolls, doughnuts, turnovers, muffins, cookies, cupcakes, cake by the slice, caramel corn, fudge and other candy. It also has a variety of coffee drinks.

Perez operates the business with the help of her mother, Kathy Stafford, who has baked for a living for 50 years. Hours are 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and closed Sunday.

Perez plans to hold a grand opening celebration sometime in November. For more information, visit the cake shop/coffee cafe’s Facebook page. Perez also plans to have a website soon.

Zara Escobar has launched her new Azizi Chocolates business in Viroqua. It’s a new tenant in the Food Enterprise Center, where Escobar makes her chocolates.

Escobar has been selling limited amounts to the Driftless Cafe in Viroqua as an occasional extra dessert, and began selling them at the Saturday farmers market in Viroqua this weekend. She also will sell her chocolates at the Saturday market on Sept. 23 and 30 and all Saturdays in October except Oct. 7.

Escobar also will sell her chocolates at farmers markets and a few large markets in Minneapolis and at the Pleasant Ridge Waldorf School Holiday Fair. “I’m also happy to do holiday catering, or cater any large event,” she said.

Escobar also takes orders for her chocolates by email. “At this point I don’t have plans for a storefront,” she said. “I’m just planning to do holiday markets, catering and online sales.”

Escobar said she makes fine chocolate confections with fair trade and organic chocolate. The chocolates are mostly vegan and low sugar.

For more information, call 808-463-8872, email Escobar at or visit Azizi’s Facebook page.

Steve Cahalan can be reached at or at 608-782-9710, ext. 8819.


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