Kao Poonh, a Lao soup served at a festival earlier this year. Photo by Melanie Wong

On Saturday, Wat Lao Saysettha, a Lao Buddhist temple in south Santa Rosa, hosts another of its festivals featuring delicious home-style Lao foods and beverages, like beef laarb, papaya salad, pho, meekahtee (a noodle soup with ground pork, coconut milk, eggs and peanuts), meatballs, chicken wings, sticky rice, iced Lao coffee and more. (Not all items are offered at every festival; there have been several celebrations this year.)

The festival's menu is written on a white board. Photo by Melanie Wong.

Melanie Wong, as enthusiastic and knowledgeable an eater as you’ll find anywhere, gave me heads up about this festival, which is attended primarily by the Lao community and temple members. Yet it is open to the public and I highly recommend it, as Southeast Asian cuisines are among the best in the world. Plus, the festival is a great opportunity to get to know one of Sonoma County’s unique communities.

Preparations for pho: How can you resist? I can't and I'm rearranging my Saturday schedule so I can attend this festival. Photo by Melanie Wong.

Foods are sold individually, like street food is, so bring plenty of cash. You might also want to bring containers to buy food to take home because, really, how much can you eat at one time?

The September fete is an observance of Boun Kao Padupdeen, a festival honoring ancestors.

Wat Lao Saysettha is located at 3625 Moorland  Ave., north of Todd Rd. in Santa Rosa. The sale of food begins at noon.