Critically praised Hell’s Kitchen Thai restaurant Larb Ubol closed permanently this week.
A sign posted on the front of the restaurant notes that the business has closed but does not provide a reason, and the phone has been disconnected. A tipster tells Eater that chef-owner Ratchanee Sumpatboon wasn’t able to renew the lease and is actively looking for another location on Ninth Avenue; Eater has reached out for more information.
Sumpatboon opened Larb Ubol in 2013, serving regional dishes from Isaan, a northeastern region of Thailand. It quickly gained attention from critics, including the Times’ Ligaya Mishan, who wrote that while the design and decor were make-do and seemingly assembled overnight, the food was the real focus and often delightful. Eater critic Robert Sietsema was similarly impressed by the restaurant’s flavorful cuisine, writing that it gave “a clearer picture of the cuisine at the ground level than more upscale spots.”
And Larb Ubol held up through the years, with Eater critic Ryan Sutton writing recently that it’s still among the city’s top Thai in 2018, especially in its execution of the duck version of its larb, the restaurant’s namesake and specialty.
While it’s unclear what’s next for Sumpatboon, the chef-owner is no stranger to bouncing back. She opened Larb Ubol just a few years after shuttering her standout Astoria restaurant Poodam’s in 2010.