southern thai family

Our Story

Emporium Thai has been voted as the Top 100 Best Thai Restaurants in the US. Founded in 2000 by John Sungkamee, a visionary with a deep appreciation for his Thai heritage as he grew up with his 11 siblings in Southern Thailand. John, a seasoned entrepreneur, recognized the untapped potential of bringing the authentic flavors of his homeland to Los Angeles. 

John mentioned "Supis Sungkamee, our 88 year-old mom, bore 12 children in Southern Thailand and instilled in us a passion for authentic Thai cooking. In 1990, she won a lottery for a U.S. green card which allowed our family to become US immigrants and eventually US citizens. We are blessed and grateful to be able to share our family's recipes. Emporium Thai has become a favorite destination for those who appreciate fine Thai cuisine. We made Mom proud!"

John works closely with his sister Chef Gina and his brother Chef Joe Sungkamee. Together, as executive chefs of Emporium Thai, Gina and Joe drew from their collective experiences and memories. They infused their menu with traditional family recipes, expertly crafted to awaken the senses and ignite a profound appreciation for the culinary treasures of their homeland. Gina and Joe's commitment to their roots extended beyond the walls of their restaurant. They actively participated in community events, sharing their knowledge and passion with aspiring chefs and home cooks alike. They forged strong relationships with local farmers and suppliers, celebrating the importance of sustainability and supporting the community.

The menu at Emporium Thai was a testament to Chef Gina and Chef Joe's culinary expertise and their dedication to showcasing the diverse flavors of their homeland. It boasted a wide array of dishes, ranging from Phuket Wing, Southern Crab Curry, Basil Seafood, Crispy Honey Duck and Whole Fish Turmeric. The menu includes exceptional vegan and gluten-free dishes. Each dish was a work of art, carefully crafted with a perfect balance of flavors and presented with meticulous attention to detail.

It's no surprise, then, that Emporium Thai has been recognized for its excellence. Many awards include:

—Eater, LA's 15 Essential Restaurants in Westwood, July 2023 

—Angeleno’s Top Chefs - Modern Luxury Angeleno Magazine, July/August 2023 

—Thai Select Restaurants Award: Thai SELECT is a mark of certification awarded by the Ministry of Commerce, the Royal Thai Government  

—Top 100 Best Thai Restaurants in the US 

—Los Angeles Travel Magazine: Reader Choice Award for Best Internationally Inspired Restaurant, 2021

—Eater, LA — 21 Tantalizing Thai Restaurants in Los Angeles

—Modern Luxury — Power Players (John Sungkamee), 2019

—L.A City Guide: Most Favorite Thai Restaurant, Los Angeles Travel Magazine

—L.A's Best Thai Restaurant outside of Thai Town – Thrillist

—Culture Trip — 6 Unmissable Restaurants In Westwood

—Westwood's Unmissable Restaurant-The Hip Side of LA 2015 – The Culture Trip (

—The Best Thai Restaurant in Town by AskAConcierge@AskAConciergeLA with Sarah Dandashy – One of -The Leading Concierge in the World

—People Love Us on Yelp's Award

—U.S.A First Thai restaurant to partner with Uber Eats, delivers via uber_LA – uberEATS

As John, Gina and Joe continue their culinary journey, their vision remains unwavering: to create a culinary experience that transcends borders, connecting people through the universal language of food. Through their remarkable achievements, they have not only brought the vibrant flavors of Southern Thailand to a global audience but have also become an inspiration for aspiring chefs and lovers of Thai cuisine everywhere.

Emporium Thai was not just a restaurant—it was a testament to the power of food to transcend borders, unite cultures, and create lasting memories.