This Thai restaurant and market at Illinois and Cockrell Hill has been under new ownership for about a year and a half, and I am ashamed to say, I didn’t even know it was there until this past weekend. Owner Kam Southammavong bought the existing market and opened its kitchen, which the previous owner hadn’t used. Southammavong also owns a Thai market in Irving and Kuong Thai restaurant in Rockwall.
Somphou market is in an old shopping center, near a bingo hall, a dollar store, a billiards club, a couple of insurance agencies, a nail salon and a restaurant whose specialty is advertised as “chicken and pizza.”
The Somphou kitchen is at the back of the store, along with a few dine-in tables, but you can order at the front counter. The menu is small, with only about six dishes, which we took as a good sign. Maybe Somphou is just trying to make a few things very well. We also liked that the menu has Spanish translations under the English menu descriptions, “Pad Thai, fideo con pollo, puerco, res o camarones.”
We ordered pad thai, pad see ew, fried rice, spring rolls and crispy Thai egg rolls. Our food didn’t come out super fast, another good sign. Photos are below. Does Somphou market have the best Thai food in Dallas? Maybe not. But this is Oak Cliff, and we liked everything we ordered. The spring rolls were the only item I might not try again, but the crispy egg rolls were delicious. Everything we ordered — four entrees and two orders of rolls — cost less than $30.
I want to be accurate about the name of this place. The sign out front reads “Somphou,” and if you look them up on Yelp, you will find reviews under that name. But Southammavong’s business card and labels on all their house-made stuff (spring rolls, rice crackers and more) reads “Ly Food Market and Gifts.”
Southammavong also is a jewelry designer who repairs jewelry and watches. Somphou market carries groceries that aren’t always easy to find in Oak Cliff, including some produce that looked nice — purple yams, Chinese broccoli and fresh lemongrass, to name a few.