Poom Yoodee

Fourth-year MIMG student Poom Yoodee is also a co-owner of his family’s restaurant, Poom Thai Cuisine. He juggles the demands of school with the responsibility of caring for the restaurant six nights a week to preserve his mother’s legacy. During their final moments together, Poom promised his mother that he would take care of the restaurant and attend law school.

The restaurant's walls are covered in signatures, names, stories, and quotes such as “MAKE POOM NOT WAR” and “first sit-down meal after pandemic,” written in different colored markers, reflecting how a meal at Poom Thai has redefined one customer’s idea of comfort food. This is the community Poom was thinking of when he made the promise to his mother. “They don’t forget you if the food is good, and if you’re kind,” he said. “That’s the sense of community that’s around my restaurant.”

Poom wants to show his community how grateful he is for their support by fully committing to the restaurant's work. He plans to attend law school in the future, hoping to gain the legal knowledge and community organizing skills to prevent anyone from mistreating his family or neighbors. Poom has witnessed customers taking advantage of his mother because she could not speak English, and he wants to prevent such bullying.

Poom Thai Cuisine is now the longest-running Thai restaurant in Santa Monica’s Lincoln neighborhood.

Read the full article on the Daily Bruin.

Photo credit and article by Alicia Carhee + Sam Mulick