Phuket Cafe and Langbaan


︎ Brand Strategy
︎ Identity Design
︎ Collateral & Signage
︎ Interiors

︎︎︎ Katherine Garber, interiors
︎︎︎ Arazu Construction, general contractor
︎︎︎ Level Plane, tiling
︎︎︎ House of Vonne, upholstery

︎︎︎ Kirsten Bauer, signpainting

Thai pastel meets lush oasis in NW Portland. Until now, Langbaan has existed as an in-the-know-secret behind its sister restaurant, Paadee. Chef and owner, Earl Ninsom, partnered with Eric Nelson to expand on the concept and pair the tasting-menu restaurant with a more casual daytime spot. Out of this, Phuket Cafe was born. Half ode to the colorful streets of Old Phuket Town, half lush hidden oasis, the new location offers a Thai dining experience unlike any other in the city.


︎ 2024 James Beard Oustanding Restaurant
︎ The Best Restaurant in the US is Langbaan in Portland, OR,
︎ Menu Trends That Define Dining Right Now, New York Times
︎ This Might Be the Best New Thai Restaurant in the Country. And We’ve Got Their Recipes, Sunset Magazine
︎ Is Phuket Cafe Portland’s Next Great Thai Restaurant?, Portland Monthly
︎ Best Restaurants 2023, Portland Monthly

Phuket Concept & Design

One part nostalgic, one part surreal — when you come across Phuket Cafe, you feel instantly transported to another place, as if you’re on a train headed straight to Phuket. It’s buzzing with the energy of a city center and the anticipation of arriving at your destination. Like the town itself, Phuket Cafe—made up of the exterior and bar side of the space—takes influence from vibrant elements of both Western and Eastern design. Outdoor diners may be seated at a “ticket counter” or in the streetside “train car.” The visual identity references the tactile experience of Thai travel, taking cues from paper tickets.

Langbaan Concept & Design

If Phuket Cafe is the journey, then Langbaan is the destination. We kept the elements of surprise that make Langbaan unique—the semi-hidden location, rotating menu, and arresting flavors—and translated that into a lush oasis behind Phuket’s bright exterior. Langbaan’s identity remains the same as their previous iteration, with new interiors tucked inside the other half of the space. Wood screens, deeper greens, and a thicket of plants create a darker, cozier feel. Hand-hewn tiles and patinaed surfaces provide a textural, time-worn quality. Our custom wallpaper features the native Ti plant, incorporating some of Phuket’s pink to connect the two sides.

“The room is a charmer, mixing vintage-modern Thailand and industrial Northwest in a cozy sea of mini-booths, counter seats, lush green walls, sleek wood, and rugged beams.  Outside, a pink-and-red train-car shaped structure shows what streetside eating can look like: architectural with mood lighting and colorful personality.” - Portland Monthly