It's pronounced "Gan Poo," according to the owner, Doungpon Morakotjantachote. (Time Out
says she's the owner's wife, she said she
was the owner to me, anyway, she's clearly the culinary impetus for the place.) It's the Thai word for clove, which is one of the flavors of the cookies, as you may have noticed.
I've also had my eye on that sign for some weeks, intrigued by the bakery aspect, and in fact barged into it a few weeks ago with the kids only to find the owner and family sitting there eating their own dinner and the restaurant still a week or two away from opening. As it happens, I too was hobnobbing with other food publications, that is, feeling free in my post-moderator state to pitch a piece to somebody, so I gathered more solidly verifiable info than I customarily would for a post.
The food menu is pretty standard stuff, apart from desserts. Flavors were definitely in the Ameri-Thai style, sweetened up, but it was all fresh and reasonably bright tasting, it's a nice neighborhood place for all that. A couple of more interesting items we tried included a pancake:
and more intriguingly, Sakoo dumplings, chicken and sweet turnip mash inside a ball of cassava, the tapioca base used to make bubble tea balls. These had no flavor when you popped them in your mouth, but bite through the gummy cassava to the sweet center and the sweet-savory interior and the texture made them interesting and a hit with the kids.
So dinner was nice enough, but we really, really liked the cookies. Doungpon moved to the US about 8 years ago, originally settling in New York. When she moved here she was surprised to not find anyone making traditional Thai cookies, so she started making them to sell at PNA, the little grocery next to Rosded on Lincoln. Eventually she and her husband decided to start a restaurant. The sesame and coconut styles are traditional Thai flavors, but many of the others-- lemongrass and clove-- are her inventions, and those are the ones that really pop with bright and unusual flavors. I highly recommend picking up a couple of bags and surprising folks at the next occasion that calls for cookies.
(From upper left, clockwise: clove, lemongrass, almond, sesame seed.)