Photo Credit: Photo of U.S. Capitol Building by Erin Fox. Photo Credit: Chinatown Arch Washington DC Shardayy Photography

Tom Kha… Gone

Erin Vogel-Fox
2 min readFeb 17, 2016


If I could have just one soup for the rest of my life it would be tom kha gai.

It’s a rich Thai soup made with a thick cream broth, chicken and lemongrass. Soup is a simple meal that is very reminiscent of home. Bold in flavor and a go-to when your sick, well, sad, or cold…it warms the heart.

It’s the ultimate comfort food!

While I do like to cook, making my favorite soup has never been an ambition of mine. That’s because the best tom kha gai I ever had was at this little Thai restaurant called Kanlaya in Chinatown, Washington DC.

Photo Credit White House: Erin Fox. Photo Credit Soup: Ryan Snyder

It was only a few minutes walk from the metro. All I had to do was hop on the train and a few minutes later I was enjoying a bowl of my beloved soup.

Arizona is a bit different in that respect. I haven’t really found a Thai restaurant I really enjoy. I suppose it’s because nothing really compares to my little place back in DC.

It’s not like I haven’t tried to find the “perfect tom kha gai” in Arizona. It’s just not the same.

In Washington, I could sit at my little hole in the wall restaurant and watch people walk by while I sipped my soup at a sidewalk table.

It wasn’t just the taste of the soup; it was where I was eating it. I could read a book and greet friends in the neighborhood as the walked home from work. The busy city noises clamoring and all the while simultaneously comforting.

The atmosphere added to the exquisite taste of the soup.

Photo Credit Jefferson Memorial: Erin Fox

None of the restaurants in Arizona even come close to the experience and taste I had back in Washington.

While I’ll most likely return to our nations capitol in August… my favorite restaurant and soup will be absent upon my return.

Kanlaya closed in 2014 just a few short months after I moved to Arizona.

The wait staff and uncomfortable sidewalk table and chairs lost to new monolithic buildings the city is so famous for.

Those moments gone but will never be forgotten.



Erin Vogel-Fox