Berkeley - Sabuy Sabuy II
The third Subuy Sabuy opened up on San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley early this month.
The original Sabuy Sabuy is on College Avenue and gets mixed reviews with half VERY unenthusiastic (see link to Chowhound post below). There is an Oakland restaurant also, Sabuy Sabuy Jr. No info on that.
The ONE dish I had was really very, very good. Yam Mamoung was a warm salad with green mango, shrimp, ground pork, peanuts, roasted coconut, red onion, and scallion in a nice sauce. It came with some mint leaves. Not sure if they were garnish, but added to the salad they were very good. I dont usually like Thai food. I liked this dish which was very fresh tasting.
It says Californian Thai. Dont really see the California part of the menu. Only two items didnt have Thai names
Spicy chicken wings (deep fried and sautéed with garlic, fresh chili, basil leaves and lemon sauce)
Ginger salad (fresh ginger, pickled ginger, sesame, peanuts, green apples, mung beans, shrimp, and lettuce mixed with spicy sauce and crispy noodles).
That ginger salad is sounding good to me. Havent been to the other two places, so cant compare. Put the order in and the two Thai ladies went back into the kitchen and there was a lot of chopping going on.
Very comfortable small room in terra cotta and mustard colors. Decorations include orchid plants and Thai sculpture and painting. They are waiting for their liquor license so only soft drinks and Thai tea are available.
They were very accommodating. A couple came in who likes their College Ave location. They did a number of menu substitutions for the couple (girlfriend didnt want basil and ordered every dish with basil on the menu among other changes). They asked if it was run by the family and the server said they were friends of the family.
I ordered my salad medium heat and it was pleasant to me. The couple said they liked the food because they could get it 'Thai Spicy Hot' ... that is very, very hot.
So thats all I know.
That green mango salad is good.
Sabuy Sabuy II
1233 San Pablo Ave
Berkeley, CA 947906
Since they are new, Id call first.
They said 11 3 and then they reopen at 5
When Sabuy Sabuy Jr first opened, it was fabulous (I think they lured a cook away from the main location). They would make "Thai hot" food, the curries were amazing, I even thought the pad thai was good.
Since then... well, I used to go at least once a week. Now it's more like once a season, if that often. And I *like* Thai food, it's the only authentic Thai near work (Take It Easy doesn't quite count). But. They've gone a bit downhill since then. If you get pad thai with prawns, you might be lucky to get two or three prawns. Even the gang som soup, one of my favorites, barely fills three bowls, where it used to fill five. Spiciness is more arbitrary; I've had medium dishes that were blistering, and "extra spicy" ones that were fairly bland.
Maybe they lured the cook away from Jr to help start up the new Berkeley location. Guess we should just follow the opening of stores and just go to the most recent one! ;-)
I'm happy to report that Sabuy Sabuy II is once again great. I understand that Burt and his wife are there every day, so plenty of quality control on the food, combined with great service makes this a find. I went twice over the past five days and had ginger salad (excellent), vegetarian egg rolls (good), pad thai (good), moo ma now (not sure that's the correct spelling, but excellent; grilled pork with garlic, chilies and lime juice over lettuce), green chicken curry (excellent) and steamed halibut (very good). Three flavors of ice cream on the house, too at the end of the meal. I am so happy to have a reliable and close by thai restaurant that is so good!
I love this place too, and I am glad it's getting some attention- I go in a couple times a month, and there's rarely many people there (although they may do a good take-out business). The green curry is wonderful, and they do a great miang kam, which I have a hard time finding at thai restaurants (best ordered if dining in). The owner is really nice, and will spend time chatting with you if you're interested. Word of warning- to my sensitive palate, dishes run hot- medium was a little strong for me, but mild is just fine.
Tonight's dinner - pork and crispy rice salad (one of my favorite dishes here), a noodle dish with mixed meats (not sure what it was called) - very good, and a whole tilapia (fried, with the meaty pieces in small fried chunks) with a mango sauce and what seemed like green mango shreds. Delicious. The ice cream / sorbet surprises tonight were (1) carrot and papaya, (2) blackberry, and (3) avocado with mint jelly.
Tonight's dinner - pork and crispy rice salad again (I haven't had it in awhile), a mushroom app which was outstanding (some grilled with a sauce, and some fried - there were 3 kinds of mushrooms), and a mixed beef with various vegetables which was very good (I have no idea if it has a name on the menu - we just told him we wanted something with beef, and with vegetables - so there was eggplant, greenbeans, broccoli, mushrooms, and carrots. The ice cream/sorbet tonight (1) mango with ginger (great), yam (very good), pear (great) and then, some durian ice cream came out, which I happen to like.