Truong Family Has Clear 'Thai' on Florissant Asian Cuisine
The family owns two in-town restaurants, but the Pearl Cafe has started to shine on its own merits.
In Florissant, residents have two options for Thai cuisine thanks to the Truong family who own both local eateries. But the Pearl Café serves as a hidden hideaway for patrons looking for foreign cuisine.
The Truong family owns Simply Thai restaurants, with brothers Tommy and Scott Truong owning the other, Pearl Café. Tommy Truong maintains that it’s a family affair for the businesses.
Truong said that some family members work at the Simply Thai establishment, while others work at Pearl Café.
While Simply Thai fits more of a traditional atmosphere and feels like a great lunch location, Pearl Café has more of an intimate, diner feel and puts a twist on the traditional dishes of Thai cuisine, Tommy Truong said.
Chef and brother Scott Truong serves as the mastermind in the kitchen to the Pearl’s menu.
“My brother is really talented,” Tommy Truong said. “He can go anywhere and taste a dish and describe all of the ingredients.”
Tommy Truong said that his brother went to grandmother’s cooking school, where he learned the tricks of the trade from Thai cooking. He and his brother also worked in his grandmother’s restaurant, located in Granite City.
After working at Simply Thai for years, the brothers opened Pearl Café in 2009.
Tommy Truong said that the twist on their dishes separates Pearl Café—named after Scott Truong’s daughter—from Simply Thai but also their sizeable beer collection.
Tommy Truong said that they have more than 200 beers hailing from the world, such as Asia and Europe to domestically from Montana to New York.
But the heat of the restaurant could be what also intrigues patrons and brings them in.
The Pearl Café hosts the King of Spice Challenge, which consists of four dishes of different spice levels, which has been created from Thai chilies, habaneros and ghost peppers, that rise with each dish. Each dish, or level, has to be completed in 45 minutes, and each one can be done at different times.
If you win and complete all four challenges, you receive a free t-shirt and meal. Out of 800 challenges, Truong said he’s seen 33 finish.
Tommy Truong said that he and his family truly count their blessings, and they’re happy to do business in the North County area, where they’ve called home for years.
“We’ve always been in St. Louis area, and just didn’t want to move out,” he said. “You feel safe when you’re at home.”