It was love at first smile at The Orchid Room restaurant in the ancient Asian country of Brunei when a man met the woman who would become Kamonwan Urbatsch.
The man, who now works in the oil industry in Williston, couldn’t speak her language, so he playfully called her “Smiley” due to the ear to ear grin she always greeted him with. Kamonwan had plans to leave Brunei for Thailand near the Laotian border and a new job opportunity. In 2004 she left for her new life, and he decided to follow. He was not about to let their passion die and agreed to follow her to another foreign country just to be with her.
In 2006, the couple acquired a Visa and moved to the United States where Kamonwan learned English and became a friend to the workers of the oil fields. She worked at the Super 8 to begin with, then onto Walmart, but all her oil field friends raved about her wonderful traditional Southeast Asian cooking, especially the make-you-sweat spices used in that type of cooking the oil field can’t get enough of, and so an idea was born.
Kamonwan couldn’t find a store front to open her restaurant, but then, two years ago, she found a food truck that was perfect.
Since then she has been making amazing food for Williston and she goes where the hungry people are. Her specialty pad thai is gossiped about from Minot to Fortuna, the result of this unique love story.