Lucky House Thai in Berkeley
I went back to one of my favorite spots for the first time in over a year -- Lucky House on University between Oxford & Shattuck. It's a whole-in-wall place with surprisingly fresh & flavorful food (think of a cleaner & roomier Tu Lan without the smell of urine outside the door). Floor is cold tile and the decor is sparse, but a quick walk through the kitchen to the restroom tells you place is clean and that they use a lot of fresh ingredients.
One of the drawbacks to Thai food for me is that when I am hungry I need to order multiple dishes, which can either be pricey or be of inadequate quality. Well, that is not the case at Lucky House. For this last trip we ordered Sea Bass Clay Pot ($7) which was a lemon grass soup filled with large chunks of sea bass, cilantro, and onions; Red Curry Beef ($6) which had a hint taste of peanuts; Pad Thai ($6) with about 10 large prawns; and a huge serving of Spicy Basil & Chicken Fried Rice ($6) that seemed a bit ordinary at first but became highly addictive once the spices kicked in. My wife, who insisted on eating her curry with plain rice (good idea), ordered a single serving for $0.75, which turned out to be about 4 servings.
We somehow managed to finish off the curry and the soup, and packaged up about half of the fried rice, Pad Thai, and white rice to go before ordering the fried bananas & ice cream for dessert ($2.50). The bananas were perfectly crispy with honey drizzled over them, and their warmth was cooled flawlessly with vanilla ice cream. We rolled out of there holding our bellies and feeling plenty satisfied.
Is the place authentic? Though I have been to Thailand I am not going to say. But seeing the monks dining inside tell me it likely is...