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The name of Jo’s Modern Thai comes from Kao’s wife, Jo, who before meeting Kao, was unfamiliar with Thai cuisine.

"The menu was designed by chef Intu-on Kornnawong, who cooked at Michelin-starred Kin Khao” - San Francisco Chronicle

Our Story

Jo’s Modern Thai founder and Oakland-native, Kao Saelee, is so excited to welcome you to his restaurant! He has spent the past 16 years working with his family at the popular Berkeley restaurant, Racha café, and Jo’s Modern Thai is his debut into the food scene.

Jo’s Modern Thai is inspired by Kao introducing Thai food to his wife, Jo, to Thai cuisine. At Jo’s, we offer an engaging and lively spot for Oakland natives and Bay Area residents to enjoy together in the Laurel district.

Kao hopes that through the incorporation of familiar local ingredients, guests will be able to confidently order any dish on the menu and enjoy the taste of Thailand.

In his quest to do this, Kao has teamed up with Chef Intu-On Kornnawong (formerly of Khin Khao & LA Night Market). By utilizing nostalgic and traditional Thai ingredients and culinary techniques, they have designed a menu that seeks to share the most delicious and special Thai flavors.

We are so excited to welcome the community into the space and share what we have to offer!