We're going to take a stab in the dark and assume that you know as much about Laotian food as you do the intricacies of astrophysics.
In other words, not a whole helluva lot.
Luckily, we're privileged to have Marc Forgione and his second-in-command Soulayphet Schwader in our corner. Together, they've just debuted Khe-Yo, a South Asian spot in Tribeca inspired by Soulayphet's Laotian heritage.
Let these dudes be your guides into the (surprisingly familiar) language of Laotian cuisine. Start out with the crunchy balls of coconut rice with kaffir lime sausage, lemongrass duck salad, and sesame beef jerky — dried and then fried for maximum beefiness.
Not full yet? Impossible. But if you insist, move on to the lemongrass Berkshire spare ribs and the pork jowl red curry.
As for the drinks department, Khe-Yo sticks to an all-French wine list, with a handful of beers and sakes to boot. But it's best to cool down with a tropical cocktail, one of which tangles bourbon with sweet vermouth and calamansi, a sour citrus fruit from the Philippines.
Once you've mastered those, then we can start talking about quarks and quasars.
Price: 3 (out of 4)
Noise: 2 (out of 4)
Subway: 1/2/3 to Chambers St.
Scene: Like a South Asian watering hole (but with an all-French wine list).
Best bets: Lemongrass spare ribs; crunchy coconut rice; sesame beef jerky
Nearby: Ward III; Terroir Tribeca; Silver Lining