Thai on Ski Run opens in South Lake Tahoe after months of hard work |

Thai on Ski Run opens in South Lake Tahoe after months of hard work

Oliver and Thanya Starr are excited about the location of their new restaurant.
Laney Griffo / Tahoe Daily Tribu

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — When Oliver and Thanya Starr signed the lease for their new restaurant, Thai on Ski Run, they didn’t realize how much work they’d have to put into it over the next 13 months.

“We thought we knew we were getting into a pretty serious repair job,” Oliver Starr said.

It was more work than they imagined, they pretty much gutted the inside, and ripped up the foundation.

The couple had been looking for the perfect restaurant location since before moving to Tahoe in 2014.

When the Nephele’s location went up for lease, they knew they had to jump on it.

One of the few things they didn’t change was the layout. There is a clear distinction between the bar and the restaurant, just as the old location was.

The front patio will have a fire pit and seating and will be dog friendly.

“We tried to honor the tradition of the old restaurant and the local feel,” Oliver Starr said.

Prior to Thai on Ski Run moving in, Nephele’s held the location on 1169 Ski Run Blvd #6 for nearly 40 years.

According to Oliver Starr, it was a local favorite so he wanted people to be able to take a piece of the old place with them.

He allowed people to take parts of the bar and he donated the old chairs to the local Alcoholics Anonymous group.

Unfortunately, the Starr’s had to do more work than they had planned.

“We had to extensive reconstruction to bring it to modern standards and make it ADA compliant,” Oliver Starr said.

But after over a year of hard work, Thai on Ski Run is open.

Thanya Starr is the head chef of the restaurant and serves food made from her family recipes with her own twist.

She had had her own restaurant in the past but in recent years, she worked in the front of house for another local Thai restaurant in South Lake Tahoe.

“I didn’t realize how much I missed cooking,” Thanya Starr said.

Some of her specialities include Tom Kha made with cabbage and coconut milk like it’s made traditionally in Thailand. She adds chili oil that she makes from scratch.

She also enjoys making Thai-style BBQ chicken and fried pork belly. The full menu will have over 80 items on it. “I’ve been eating this food for 20 years and I still love it,” Oliver Starr said.

While to location is great for people skiing or riding on the California side of Heavenly, the Starrs still want to be welcoming to locals.

They have local lunch specials and “local friendly prices” other menu items.

When asked how someone can prove they’re a local, Thanya Starr said, “If you act like Tahoe and you talk like Tahoe.”

“We love this community and have really invested in this town,” Oliver Starr said.

The restaurant is looking to add to their team. They are still hiring kitchen and front of restaurant staff.

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