Los Angeles chef Jet Tila to revamp Pakpao, open additional Pan-Asian concepts in Dallas

Los Angeles native Jet Tila, one of America’s foremost Thai chefs and restaurateurs, is joining forces with the the folks behind Pakpao Thai and Apheleia Restaurant Group to recraft their Dallas Thai restaurant and open additional concepts.

Tila made a big splash with Kuma Snowcream and Wazuzu in Las Vegas (which we profiled here) and has kept going, opening restaurants across America.

He frequently appears on national television, including CBS, NBC, PBS, DIY, Travel Channel with Anthony Bourdain and Food Network, where he currently stars in Cutthroat Kitchen, and has appeared on Iron Chef, Rachel vs. Guy,  and Giadia at Home.

“My food is predominantly Thai and Chinese because it was the food I was exposed to growing up,” writes Tila on his website. “And my cooking overall represents the neighborhood I grew up in LA: between Thai Town, Chinatown, Koreatown, and Little Tokyo.”

In 2009, Tila opened Wazuzu, a Pan-Asian restaurant at Steve Wynn’s Encore casino and resort on the Las Vegas Strip. More recently, he launched Bistronomics, an acclaimed series of pop-up restaurant experiences in Los Angeles. Tila has also holds three world records for creating the world’s largest stir fry (4,010 lbs.); the world’s largest seafood stew (6,656 lbs.); and the largest California roll (422 ft.).

“At this point, I am interested in creating concepts, not just one-offs,” he says. “I am and always will be a chef, but I am also always interested in new ways to combine cooking, business, and communication, since I enjoy all of them as much as I enjoy teaching people about where I come from through my food.”

Jet’s a great guy and a talented chef. I’ve been trying to convince him to open something in Dallas for years. Looks like he’s finally ready.

UPDATE: Folllowing this post, the Pakpao folks released an announcement confirming Tila’s plans.  “Pakpao already does an amazing job with creating authentic Thai food,” Tila says in the press release. “I will be infusing regional dishes from the North, Isaan, and Bangkok, along with helping to promote the brand and expand Pakpao’s influence on the Texas dining scene, which is one of the fastest growing in the country. It’s tremendously exciting for me to be a part of it.”