For Luv2Eat’s Owners, Paying It Forward Is the Answer to Uncertainty
Produced by The Infatuation with
Childhood friends Somruthai “Fern” Kaewtathip and Noree “Pla” Burapapituk have loved cooking since they were in high school in Thailand’s Phuket province. And while it was only Fern who ended up at culinary school - Pla spent time working in the Thai film industry - by 2014 they both ended up in LA, where they opened Luv2Eat Thai Bistro.
Since then, their restaurant in a Hollywood strip mall has become a destination for the pair’s signature Southern Thai dishes, like the Phuket-style crab curry and jade noodles topped with BBQ pork, crispy pork, and roasted duck. In 2018, they opened Noree Thai in Mid-City, with a menu of Luv2Eat favorites plus a more health-focused vegetable-heavy section of the menu.
By January 2020, Fern and Pla had so many customers they’d made plans to open a takeout-only express kitchen near Luv2Eat. But by March the pandemic had scrambled those plans, leaving them in the same boat as others in the restaurant industry: struggling to keep the business afloat. Ingredients, particularly those imported from Thailand, are more expensive than ever, they say, and they’ve had to downsize the menu to cope – though the crab curry and those jade noodles haven’t gone anywhere.
Although today the pair still feel apprehensive about the future, they’re grateful they’ve survived the last year with both their businesses intact, thanks to the devoted customer base across both Noree Thai and Luv2Eat. “We can’t predict anything now,” Fern says. “We just keep positive thinking and wish everything will be better soon.”
Despite the struggles of owning a small business, the pair agree the pandemic has taught them one major lesson: supporting others is the only way forward. “We believe in karma, and that by giving more we will get back more,” Fern says. “Only by doing good will we deserve the best.”
DoorDash believes that supporting and advancing women-owned businesses is an ongoing effort that demands action. Action we can take with our product, voice, and resources, including the partners we choose. DoorDash is proud to partner with RE:Her, a local LA nonprofit created by women-owned restaurants, that is committed to advancing women in the restaurant industry through mentorship, resources, and small business grants.