The buzz: Chong Nonsi really is the new Phrom Phong. After a slew of cool new bars and cafes opening on Sathorn Soi 10-12 (plus a couple ultra-luxe offerings at the intersection), the area's revival has made it all the way to Thanon Pan, a leafy soi running from the Hindu temple on Silom to the Myanmar Embassy on Sathorn. It's close to that end that you'll find Luka, a cafe within the newest branch of Casa Pagoda. With a focus on light fare (salads, sandwiches) and coffee, Luka is fast becoming a favorite lunch spot for Sathorn's busy professionals.
The decor: Just like the other Casa Pagoda shops, this location's decor is meant to look like the edgy Provence villa of a couple of urban weekenders: a mix of 1900s bistro paraphernalia, distressed tufted leather couches, and vintage-looking seats upholstered in salvaged fabrics. It all basks in plenty of light, befitting Luka's menu.
The food: Chef Sirote Udomthongsuk, who boasts stints at fancy kitchens like Savelberg, Gaggan and Water Library, serves up down-to-earth comfort food that's ideal for breakfast, lunch and brunch: breakfast burrito (B280) with quinoa, scrambled egg, cheese, sausage, tomato salsa, avocado and "Thai chipotle" salsa; grilled cheese sandwich (B150) served with a thick tomato soup; "sloppy meatball sandwich" with fresh mozzarella, roasted garlic, sweet marinara and a brioche bun (B290); and, on weekends only, sweet or savory French toast (both B160). Sauces, juices and pickles are homemade, while the produce comes from reputable names like Adams Organic, the Royal Project Foundation and Sloane's.
The drinks: Proper coffee by a barista who'll go out of his way to make useful recommendations (from B70 for an espresso) and a solid list of teas, including single origin and blend options made with leaves from China, Sri Lanka, Japan and Israel. Try the white tea silver tips (B160) or green tea spearmint (B120), both made with organic tea leaves from Israel.
Why you should care: For all its newfound hipster cred, Chong Nonsi is no Sala Daeng it comes to lunchtime. Luka isn't just a welcome addition to the neighborhood for nearby office workers, though. Come Saturday and Sunday, it's a proper brunch destination in its own right.