Sawadee means Welcome...

Our Story

Chef’s Choice Noodle Bar first opened on April 11, 2011, in the heart of downtown Bakersfield, primarily as a lunch-focused Asian Fusion eatery.  The inspiration came from owners Nick Hansa, a local physician, and his wife, Pum Hansa, who both grew up in Bangkok, Thailand.  Their vision was to bring the variety of “street food” so popular in Bangkok and serve it here in Bakersfield.  To make this vision a reality, executive head chef Preeda Piamfa was recruited to create the menu, coordinate the procurement of ingredients and build the kitchen staff.  The front of house staff was brought together by Nick Panici, a young but experience general manager with unparalleled passion for food and spirits.

“The Noodle Bar”, as the restaurant would be known to our regulars, grew and evolved over the years guided by the talent of our head chef, our general manager’s dedication to provide a unique dining experience and the support of our patrons.  Months after opening, we started our wine dinners, expanded to use the 2100 square feet banquet area and expanded our menu to include a full dinner menu.  In 2014, we added a full bar and in 2015 the Mandalay private dining room.

After ten years, we are excited to move to The Marketplace and continue to grow as a restaurant.  We are so grateful for the support of our regulars and look to add more “Noodlers” in this new location.  The steady hands that both our executive head chef and general manager have provided over the years have been invaluable to our growth and evolution.

With excitement and anticipation, we invite you to be part of our journey...

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Our Creative Team

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Executive Head Chef

Preeda Piamfa 

Preeda Piamfa was born and raised in a small-town on the Eastern Seaboard of Thailand, where he was exposed to classic Thai cooking from a very young age. Preeda found himself learning invaluable tools and lessons from his maternal grandmother, whom was very well-known and revered for her popular curry stand in the local market and also his mother, whom operated a Pad Thai specialty store in a separate area of town. 

Preeda served in the Thai Air Force for 10 years and upon returning home, rediscovered his passion for cooking and providing an incredible meal for all. With the desire to provide a better life for his family, Preeda migrated to the United States in 1998 and started a new career as the Head Chef of several restaurants in Los Angeles, before relocating to Bakersfield and joining the Noodle Bar family, as the first and only Head Chef since opening. 

Preeda is thrilled to share his culinary vision with the community of Bakersfield who have so kindly embraced him and devour his food. He is honored to have been recognized as Kern County's Best Chef in 2018. He has many more surprises in store for the new Chef's Choice Catering menus, so be sure to inquire about an event today!

General Manager

Nick Panici

Nick Panici has been with the Chef's Choice Noodle Bar family since opening. Prior to this, Nick has been in the restaurant industry for over 17 years - starting as a busier at the high-end Mediterranean restaurant and has worked his way up to his current position as General Manager.

After years of yearning to see Thailand, Nick was finally able to visit on his honeymoon, where he was able to fully immerse himself in the welcoming Thai culture, learn the ways fo the Thai people and taste as a vast variety of traditional delicacies. 

Nick's desire is to bring that Thai hospitality, along with a sense of authenticity and knowledge back to Bakersfield. in Combination with his personal passion for the food and wine industry, he enjoys creating new menu options and unique dining experiences for al - premium service and exceeding customer expectations are his top priorities. 

With the newly created Chef's Choice Catering division, he is hoping to increase Bakerfield's awareness of what is takes to provide a truly exceptional private dining experience. 

The true test of an exceptional caterer is when they succeed in a brick and mortar location for many years, then transpose that same top-notch quality food & services with individualized event planning for off-site events. 

Nick invites you to enjoy your dining experience with us today and try something new or have us to cater your next event - Nick strives to impress. 

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