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Best Thai in SF?

Visiting from NYC and would love some fantastic Thai.


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  1. thai house express is by far my favorite, and is very well regarded on this board http://www.chowhound.com/topics/320246 , but i seem to recall people saying that there is better thai in nyc than sf...

    1 Reply
    1. re: artemis

      There's not much good Thai in NY either. Bad Thai food is as plentiful as bad Chinese food.

    2. I like Thai House Express very much, and Ozone Thai a couple of blocks away. The people on this board gravitate to places that have rare dishes beyond the very standard usual ones, and Thai House Express has some, and Ozone Thai has some wonderful Thai salads done quite well.

      1. My favorite thai restaurant is Citizen Thai and the Monkey on Grant Avenue in North Beach. It's a bit hidden away but definitely worth it. Citizen Thai is the more upscale, full service portion of the restaurant. While The Monkey is the more casual, street-style fare part. The decor is very stylish with golden buddhas, a koi pond, and wood, stone and silk accents. Their pumpkin curry is rich and delicious!

        1. I concur with Thai House Express. Another favorite of mine is Bang San, at 505 Jones in the Tenderloin. Their larb gai is cooked fresh to order, which I never realized wasn't the case at other Thai restaurants until I tasted theirs. Drunken noodles are nicely charred. Bang San is Halal and located next to the Bourbon and Branch "speakeasy" on the corner.

          1. I'm a huge Jitlada fan -- amazing pumpkin curry...


            1. Thai House Express at Larkin and Geary (not the Castro location).

              If you have a car, Champa Garden's worth a trip to Oakland.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                While the Castro location isn't as good as the Tenderloin location, I've found it to be the best Thai south of Market but a long shot. When we tell them we like the Tenderloin location, and order a special from that menu, usually the pork leg stew, we find we get a higher level of complexity in all our dishes.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  Champa Garden has many dishes I'm reverent about, but particularly the panang catfish special (almost always available) and the fried rice ball salad with extra hot chilis.

                2. My favorite is Mekong in the Tenderloin. Their spicy squid is amazing. Normally, I'm not a huge pad thai fan, but theirs is so flavorful. I think Mekong is far better than Thai House Express. The service at Mekong is quite friendly too.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Mmmonica

                    I'm also a big fan of Mekong Delta-- their dishes aren't necessarily unusual (except for the fact that they have a lot of vegan versions), but their curries are really flavorful and fresh.

                    Bang San is also a favorite-- their noodles have a great char to them, and it's unique in that it's Halal... Not the best place for ambiance though-- it's tiny, and the kitchen is open so it's inescapable that you leave smelling like smoke and oil.

                  2. I'm still all about Suriya, on Valencia between 25th and 26th. The chef has definitely given his own spin on things, so this is definitely no run of the mill Thai. I love his tom kha, and his fish steamed in banana leaves rocks. But, pretty much everything I've had there is really good.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: peterme

                      i would not recommend suriya, based on the one and only time i went. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/40476

                      undercooked and dry "emerald noodles," and completely raw chicken (slightly poached from the warm sauce, but still totally raw) that had obviously been dumped into curry that had been cooking for hours. to top that off, the management offered dessert to make up for the clearly raw chicken dish, not to comp the raw curry. it took some insisting.

                    2. Of the Thai places that have been mentioned, which deliver, and what experience has anyone had?

                      Bang San says they deliver but I've never done it. Delivery would avoid the problem that an earlier poster noted of smelling like oil and smoke due to their poor ventilation.

                      1. The best Thai place I have ever eaten at is Chiang Mai on Geary Street. It's been there for over 10? 15? years and I'm lucky that it's just around the corner from my in-laws. It's the best pad thai and bbq pork I've ever had. I'll probably kick myself in the butt one day for letting the secret out.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: sylphi

                          Are you current with Chaing Mai? If so, that's great news. I liked it a lot 15-16 years ago when I doing a lot of work in the city. I went back once maybe 5 years ago and thought it had slipped a lot and haven't gone back.

                        2. i second mekong! kevin (the only person that works there) always takes good care of me. it's also an excellent place to take vegetarians as they have have a full vegan menu. i usually eat veg when i go there - the pumpkin curry is phenomenal!!

                          suriya is expensive and overrated, in my opinion.

                          you may also want to try marnee thai in the inner sunset, at 9th, near irving. excellent thai food.

                          1. The best Thai restaurant isn't in SF, it's in San Carlos. It's called Sirayvah, and it's organic Thai and it's really really tasty.

                            1. Yeah. I am a regular there since it's around the corner from my in-laws. I have to agree that it's not as good as it once was but it's getting better again and it's still the best I've ever had. Many of the dishes are still great and I know that it's a family restaurant.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: sylphi

                                Are you referring to Sirayvah? Or?

                                1. re: Mick Ruthven

                                  Oops...that was in response to Chiang Mai. Sorry

                                  1. re: sylphi

                                    Thanks. That's certainly enough for me to go back there and try it again. I used to love it.

                              2. Suriya used to be one of the best in SF. But the last time I went there, the prices had been jacked up, the portions were smaller, and the quality was not what it used to be.