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South Minneapolis restaurant Khâluna has been named one of Eater's 15 best new restaurants of 2022.

The Laotian-style eatery located at 4000 Lyndale Ave. S. was opened in October 2021 by Chef Ann Ahmed

The restaurant offers a dinner menu with small plates featuring chicken samosas, siin swan, and sakoo; chilled plates like pineapple noodles, laab heed and rainbow rice; and entrées consisting of mango fish, laksa, gaeng toon and different style curries.

Jaya Saxena of Eater praised the restaurants "beauty," noting its "colors are soft and beachy, with accents of gold and greenery that make a Minneapolis fall evening radiate warmth."

Of the food, she praises Ahmed's "precise and imaginative Laotian cuisine."

"She subs in peanuts, pistachios, and mushrooms for the more typical pork in her sakoo, creating luxurious, umami-laden texture in the traditional street food, topping it off with edible flowers and zinging flakes of Thai red chili. Cocktails come spritzed with macadamia oil that’s perfume-like in its fragrance. And nearly every table has an order of bucatini talay, a tangle of pasta with shrimp, scallops, squid, and a rich 'tom yum ragout' of breadcrumbs, tomato, and fish sauce."

As well as the acclaimed food and cocktail menu, Khâluna, which means "please" in Lao, also offers a shop stocked with fair-trade goods Ahmed imports from Laos.

Owner/Chef Ann Ahmed.

Owner/Chef Ann Ahmed.

"This is the name I personally can connect with, and it's a name in which I want to operate my business. It's my belief, and how I want to share it with the community, with compassion for one another," Ahmed said in an Instagram post.

Ahmed also owns two other Twin Cities restaurants: Lemon Grass Thai Cuisine in Brooklyn Park (opened in 2005) and Lat14 Asian Eatery in Golden Valley (opened in 2018). She was born in Laos and left the country at the age of two and lived in a Thai refugee camp until she was four. Ahmed was ultimately sponsored into Minnesota with her great-grandmother, grandmother and mother, according to her bio.

Bring Me The News reached out to Ahmed for comment Tuesday.

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