Om Bechtel, the owner of the newly opened Om Cooking, is no stranger to restaurants or kitchens. Born and raised in Northern Thailand, Om spent a lot of time helping her mother in her restaurant, but her training didn’t stop there. Before opening her own restaurant, Bechtel managed another Thai restaurant inWenatchee; she has lived in Wenatchee for about seven years.

When she started thinking about opening her own restaurant, Bechtel started with a stand at the Leavenworth Farmer’s Market during the summer of 2018, where she quickly became a favorite vendor. She experimented with bringing curries and noodle dishes, and always had a large supply of fresh spring rolls and her homemade peanut sauce for customers to take away.Om Cooking officially opened its doors on September 17, 2018 in the space vacated by Thongbai Thai on Wenatchee Avenue, just up the street from the Wenatchee Chamber of Commerce. Bechtel admits business was slow at first, until a newspaper article let people know Om Cooking was a new Thai food option in an old Thai restaurant space. Now there’s a booming lunch crowd and regulars for dinner. She’s still working on redecorating, but the food is already dialed in.“

I love to cook,” says Bechtel. “I used to love cooking with my mom, and I still love to cook now. My favorite is the green papaya salad. I could eat it every day. ”Bechtel has found her niche in offering authentic Thai cuisine, especially from Northern Thailand.“A lot of Thai restaurants change their food for American tastes,” she said. “I’m different because I offer authentic dishes. I also wanted to make sure I brought at least one new dish to the Wenatchee Valley, and I have. I serve Neua Dad Deaw {a spiced sundried beef jerky} and everyone loves it.”Bechtel’s restaurant isn’t completely traditional Thai food, however. She’s also becoming famous for her pho, a typically Vietnamese noodle soup served with thinly sliced meat. However, Bechtel’s recipe isn’t exactly typical.“I use my mom’s recipe,” she said. “It’s a fusion of a Thai noodle soup and traditional pho. People really like it.”

As part of her commitment to quality, Bechtel is also committed to freshness. Her sauces are all homemade, and, she says, “Our vegetables are always fresh – never frozen.”Several of Bechtel’s offerings are unique to the valley, including a salmon curry and several salads that seafood lovers will salivate over, plus the spicy green papaya salad that she names as her favorite dish to make. Om Cooking also serves a variety of traditional Thai favorites, like pad thai, pad kee mao, and red and yellow curries. Vegetarian options are readily available. Neua Dad Deaw is available as an appetizerand is a lovely mix of sweet and spicy. Bechtel also offers bubble teas, a delicious blend of ingredients with large tapioca pearls that are absolutely decadent, and Thai iced tea.Om Cooking is open most days for lunch and dinner, although hours change seasonally. For more information and specific business hours, to go

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