Taste of Asia's Lao curry noodle soup is one of the restaurant's most popular dishes, and will remain part of the Stiks menu when it opens.

After 16 years in business, Taste of Asia, Sarasota's well-liked Laotian, Thai and Vietnamese restaurant, will close next month. And, shortly afterward, the family that owns the restaurant will reopen the space with a new name and a new approach.

Stiks, as the new restaurant will be known, will continue to offer flavors from Southeast Asia, says Nikki Lum-Kleiber, the daughter of Taste of Asia owners Lam and Selina Lum. But the dishes will be prepared in a mix-and-match, quick-service style, with vegan and gluten-free bases that can be partnered with different toppings and meat, if you like.

"We're going for more of a fast-casual Asian restaurant, with better pricing, and more relaxed in general," says Lum-Kleiber, who is stepping in to handle more of the restaurant's operations, along with her husband, David Kleiber.

Taste of Asia had come close to closing for good two years ago, but those plans fell apart, and the restaurant instead shifted to begin offering quick counter service in addition to traditional tableside service. Lum-Kleiber says the new Stiks menu will include plenty of dishes based on Taste of Asia favorites, like the Lao curry noodle soup, but you can also expect new dishes and a selection of bobas, as well.

The final day for Taste of Asia will be Sunday, Nov. 21. Stiks is scheduled to open on Wednesday, Dec. 1. The restaurant is located at 4413 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. For more info, call (941) 923-2742 or visit Taste of Asia’s website.

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