Longstanding Montrose Eatery Closes to Make Way for Thai Restaurant

The now vacant building that housed La Fendee. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.

Mediterranean eatery La Fendee has been a fixture at 1402 Westheimer in some form or another for 17 years. It’s now shuttered, and despite a note on the website’s homepage saying that La Fendee is “closed for maintenance and remodeling until further notice,” a notice for a mixed-beverage permit application on the door indicates that the restaurant is destined to become a new spot named Thai Tail

According to Texas Secretary of State records, Thai Tail’s owner is Warattayar “Lukkaew” Srasrisuwan. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because she’s also involved with other Thai restaurants in Houston. She’s the owner of Royal Thai cuisine restaurant MaKiin (located inside the multi-use high-rise Hanover River Oaks), M Express Thai Kitchen — a delivery and to-go order CloudKitchens concept at Fair Food Co., and a co-owner of Kin Dee Thai in the Heights.

Signs were posted to the windows of La Fendee on January 31. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.
Signs were posted to the windows of La Fendee on January 31. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.

Over the years, La Fendee has been owned and operated by the Esfandiari family, with Dr. Saina Esfandiari, an optometry specialist, at the helm for much of its tenure. Esfandiari tried rebranding and refreshing the restaurant multiple times, including new furnishings, menu items and extended late-night hours. It even briefly operated as Layal Express Café Hookah & Grill in an attempt to drum up new business. It featured a spacious patio, hookah service and Middle Eastern fare and was located along a busy section of Westheimer, just a stone’s throw from popular bars Anvil, Refuge, Roswell’s Saloon and Catbirds

It relaunched again last spring with new ownership and a full remodel, which included axing the whimsical fez logo and colorful decor in favor of a sleek, modern look along with a stylish social media campaign. It also offered a fresh, ingredient-focused menu with a focus on beer and wine options aimed at capturing some of the neighborhood’s late-night foot traffic. Unfortunately, it appears it was not enough to prevent the business from shuttering.

Houston Food Finder sent messages to Srasrisuwan, her representatives and La Fendee for additional information on the ownership change as well as what Thai Tail will offer, and we’ll update this article if we receive responses.

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