About Kae Bailes

kae bailesIt was always my dream to open a restaurant, even before I came to America in 2005. My journey began in Khon Kaen a city in North East Thailand where my family lives. They were industrious country folks who imparted the importance of hard work on their children as well. My farther operated the family rice farm while my mother kept an eye on the children and ran a small market.

My parents worked very hard and were able to save up enough money to send my siblings and I to college. I studied finance and banking at Rajamangala University of Technology Isan, and received a Management Degree from Loei Rajabhat University, Thailand, and upon graduation worked as an accountant for a car company, for 15-years. While attending university I also helped my Mother run a small market and she taught me regional Thai cooking including salads and the very popular "Larb" style of preparation that combines the flavors of sour, sweet, and spicy.

In 2005 I remarried and moved to America. My English was not the best and I struggled at first selling hot dogs and being a caretaker. In time my English improved and I was able to get a Cosmetologists License allowing me to work as a hairstylist while also working in Thai restaurants as a waitress. I finally felt like I was making progress and began to save money by working both jobs, always thinking that one day I would realize my dream and open a restaurant of my own. A dream I have held for more than 10-years before I even came to America.

After working 2+ jobs for many years and sometimes 3 I was finally able to save up enough money to buy a restaurant in 2016, opening Wasabi Tapas in the Brown Ranch Market Place shopping center in Capitola early that year. Opening and running the business has not been easy. My first encounter with the official bureaucracy has been a challenge compounded by my limited English skills and recent entry into the world of the small business owner but I am determined to succeed.

My Sushi Chef has over 40-years of experience and trained in Japan for 6-years prior to coming to the US where he originally prepared Sushi in Texas before moving to California. We prepare fresh locally sourced home style food like I used to prepare with my mother in Thailand. I would like to thank all my friends, family and loyal customers who have helped to make Wasabi Tapas the success it is today, as I could not have done it without you.

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