Despite just opening in Emeryville’s Public Market earlier this year, Cambodian street food spot Nyum Bai is already graduating to a standalone brick-and-mortar restaurant in Fruitvale. Owner Nite Yun tells the SF Chronicle that she could be open in the former location of The Half Orange (Jay Porter’s beer bar) as early as January 2019.
Yun, the child of Cambodian immigrants, started her business as a series of pop-ups and dinners around the Bay Area five years ago, followed by a stint with La Cocina, the food incubator. She opened her kiosk in the Emeryville Public Market in February 2017. She quickly became known for street food dishes with rice and noodles, like short-rib red curry with coconut milk, kroeung, red chili paste, potatoes, and fried shallots, and kuy teav-cha!, stir-fry noodles, sweet and tart tamarind sauce, fresh chives, eggs, and peanuts.
Now Yun will have the opportunity to expand menu offerings with more traditional Cambodian fare, and create a meeting place for members of the community. Fruitvale, which is also the home of Reem’s California and Ale Industries, is a growing neighborhood with a strong Latin American community. Yun says the new restaurant will have a vintage Cambodia ‘50s and ‘60s vibe, complete with communal dining.
Nyum Bai will continue to operate in its current location (5959 Shellmound, Emeryville) until the end of the year. Eater has reached out to Yun for more details; stay tuned.