Featured LEISURE

Couple serves up authentic Thai cuisine 

Amm Nikhomvanh and David Nikhomvanh prepare to serve meals at the Little Thai Cottage booth. (courtesy of Little Thai Cottage)

Couple serves up authentic Thai cuisine 

By Jill Alexander

In the mood for a piping hot plate of authentic pad Thai noodles and a Thai coffee to wash it down?

Look no further than the Little Thai Cottage booth at the Scripps Ranch Farmer’s Market and Family Festival on Thursdays.

Owners and founders Amm Nikhomvanh and David Nikhomvanh started the business in May 2023 after Amm quit her job as a waitress at a Thai restaurant and David left a real estate company where he was an escrow agent.

Married for 17 years, they met at a Solana Beach Thai restaurant where Amm was a waitress and David was visiting. 

“He ordered in his broken Thai, and after that, it just clicked,” Amm said.

What makes Little Thai Cottage’s food different from others in the area?

“I cook it as it would be in Thailand – a true taste of Thai – it’s authentic. For example, I use garlic chives in my Pad Thai, not green onions like other places,” she said.

Authentic is the word

These days, Little Thai Cottage is serving authentic dishes from its No. 1 seller mango sticky rice to drunken noodles. It also provides catering for special events when the couple is not at pop-up markets around San Diego County.

Amm said she’s been cooking for as long as she can recall and doesn’t plan to give it up anytime soon.

“I like cooking and it’s my passion,” she said. “We started because I want to share my food with people in the area and I want something of my own.”

She does all the prep work in a commercial kitchen in Vista and then cooks at the markets.

“Amm does 99 percent of the food handling, and I do more of the financial, social media and setting up as well as the physical labor,” David said.

Love for Scripps Ranch

The best thing about selling at Scripps Ranch for them is the market’s ambiance as “it doesn’t seem commercial but has more of a community feel,” Amm said.

“We have more connections at the smaller markets,” David added.

The couple hopes to open a Thai restaurant where Amm can make the same Thai specialties but on a larger scale.

“While I enjoy this and the connections, taking orders, making the food … it is hard work for sure. In the future, maybe a food truck or in the long run a sit-down Thai place if we can find the right location for us.” she said. “We don’t want to make food that people just buy and never come back … I want community connections and Scripps is a perfect market for it.”

Visit the Little Thai Cottage booth at the Scripps Ranch Farmers Market and Family Festival, held from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. each Thursday at 10045 Carroll Canyon Road. 

Drunken noodles (courtesy of Little Thai Cottage)
Pad Thai (courtesy of Little Thai Cottage)