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My 20-year-old son is looking for the "absolute spiciest food" in the area. (We live in San Jose but anywhere in Bay Area is fine.) He really means it.

He's eaten at Rangoli Indian and has had Ethiopian and Mexican, so if he could experience somet entirely new ethnicity that would be a plus.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

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  1. Ruen Pair in Albany. Their "medium" is hot/hotter than most other places when you ask for spicy. Their spicy (especially larb) will almost make you convulse at the table. It is delicious in a painful way. It is very painful the next day on the "salida." People who like their mexican food really hot and eat plain jalapeños turn into pussies at Ruen Pair when eating the spicy. Overall, their food is pretty decent, too, and is probably my favorite Thai in the area.

    1 Reply
    1. re: lmnopm

      Yes, Ruen Pair. When you order the food hot the server points out that if you can't eat it you will still have to pay.

    2. Old Mandarin Islamic's plate o' death: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/45206...

      Spices 1 and 2? Never been...

      2 Replies
      1. re: chaddict

        I second Old Mandarin Islamic. I can usually handle a lot of eat (I really mean a lot...I eat Thai chili peppers since my family is from SE Asia) but that "plate o' death" had me sweating and drinking a lot of water!

        Also, Dusita, a Thai restaurant in Santa Clara on El Camino Real, does dishes in "Thai spicy." The waitress will double or triple check to make sure you want it that spicy. They put Thai chilis in it...They'll do it for pretty much any dish.

        1. re: chaddict

          Old Mandarin's '"extremely hot pepper" is pretty darn hot.

        2. You might want to try China Village in Albany. Many of their dishes are very hot, but I once made the mistake of asking for their Spicy Boiled Beef extra spicy and it was outrageously hot. Since they use the schicuan peppercorn it's a different kind of spicy than most are used to.

          1. I think the spiciest thing I've had at China Village was the cold "home style" chicken appetizer.

            Champa Garden's mu ping ma nao (aka mu mu nao) was the spiciest thing I can recall having eaten recently.

            1. Some of the most outlandishly hot Thai food I've ever enjoyed has been at Marnee Thai on Irving St. in San Francisco. The chicken wing appetizer, in particular, has been a definite thrill-ride in years past.

              Not to be too graphic, but if your son is like me and emphatically asks for the wings "REALLY hot" it will not only cause shortness of breath/hyperventilation, profuse sweating and face-flushing, but also a slight melting of earwax. I kid you not.

              Additionally, any burger joint doing a habanero burger will be just the ticket for him. Prince of Wales Pub in San Mateo (now closed) was quite famous for that challenge burger. (ie: "I dare you to eat that burger...")


              Sushi Monster

              1. A little closer to home for you, Little Sichuan Express in Fremont serves up some mighty hot food: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/39806 . Anything that says "water cooked" or "boiled" in a Sichuan restaurant is probably the spiciest thing on the menu.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                  Second on Little Sichuan Express, I didn't know how good I had it when I lived nearby. Also across the street is My Thai, easily as hot as LSE.

                2. I do see bottles of Sriracha and other chili sauces and condiments entirely at your disposal at many tables :)

                  Btw,, "right now the world's hottest pepper is the Bhut Jolokia pepper from India (also called Ghost Chili) which is much hotter than the Dorset Naga at 1,001,304 Scoville units"

                  1. Darn it! Completely forgot! Yucatasia's habanero salsa on anything! For the life of me I cannot find the post of rworange's near blinding from this stuff.

                    1. El Huarache Azteca's "salsa de barbacoa" is insanely spicy. It's served only with the barbacoa (made only on weekends) or by request. Tastes like habaneros to me.

                      1. Ordering the Kung Pao "really spicy" at Henry Hunan's can be an adventure. If your a Kung Pao purist look elsewhere as they add bell peppers which some find to be unforgivable.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Chris Rising

                          Ditto the Kung Pao at Andy's on 9th between Irving and Judah. No bell peppers in this one and if you specify extra spicy they will do their best to knock your socks off.

                        2. The absolute spiciest food has to be the Tom Yum soup at Thai House Express. If you get it "Thai Hot", it will be the hottest thing that touched your mouth. And since it's a soup, it will permeate through every taste nerve in your mouth making it completely numb to any other flavors. As my brother said, it's so hot, it's perverse.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: lucymom

                            My husband and I ordered their bamboo shoot salad "hot" once and I could barely eat it. I love really spicy things like yucatecan-style habanero sauces and raw chilies. This stuff was scary. I ate it, though, just to prove I could.

                            1. re: srr

                              Most dishes at Thai House Express (both locations) ordered spicy or, god forbid, extra spicy will make you sweat. We were used to ordering food spicy and it not being spicy enough and made the mistake of ordering pad kee mao and a salad here extra spicy one time. Now we aim for spicy to medium spicy.

                          2. Osha Thai - I used to be a regular at their original location on Geary near Leavenworth in the t-loin. Ask for it extra extra spicy (they actually write XXX on the kitchen ticket) and it will be as spicy as anything I had in Thailand. That's the way I like it but I'm one that dreams of food that causes a bead of sweat on the forehead from just looking at it! (warning: others find it so hot as to be inedible). I can't vouch for their new outposts in the Mission and downtown as I've never eaten at any of them.

                            Little Sichuan - which is in the South Bay and was mentioned here before.

                            Taqueria Cancun has my favorite salsa - green avocado style salsa chock full of peppers. I would drink the stuff, if I didn't think it would burn my entire throat on the way down.

                            Also if he wants to try something a little different - Lyang Lyang which is a Malaysian place down in Cupertino or Santa Clara somewhere. Not so much hot spicy, but a highly seasoned type of spicy.

                            There's also a szechuan style place in the Ranch 99 complex in Cupertino which had some very spicy dishes, perhaps another chowhound knows the place.

                            Also, some of the spiciest food I've had was at a jerk chicken shack in Jamaica -- the scotch bonnet sauce on my chicken was oh so good. The cooks warned me not to let the sauce touch my lips, found out why the next day -- it literally caused the top layer of skin on my lips to peel. Does anyone know of a good jerk place in the bay area?

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: wanderlust21

                              Back-A-Yard in Menlo Park is a good jerk place, meat was nice and tender, but it wasn't "ulta spicey". The Jamaican hot sauce on the tables upped the heat though.

                            2. I was going to suggest the Habanero Hamburger at the Prince of Wales Pub
                              in San Mateo but while looking for the address discovered that it had closed
                              (original owners evicted, new owner running the business under the same
                              name?). If it ever reopens elsewhere, the habanero burger is (was) something of
                              a nerdly silicon valley right of passage.

                              1. When I order the papaya salad at the Sunday brunch at Wat Mongkolratanaram (Berkeley Thai Buddhist temple) spicy, I'm usually the only one in my group who doesn't think it's too hot to eat.

                                1. There must be dozens of good candidates before you even consider leaving the San José area for this. Also I'm surprised to see so many recommendations for things like chili sauces and kung-pao (using peppers of around a few thousand strength -- Scoville scale). Suhshi Monster has a better league for this: Thai food, and it's not hard to find around SJ. (I'd also suggest good Vindaloo stews from Indian restaurants that specialize in them. Recipes start with mustard oil, then cook various hot and savory spices, and toasted onion, in it to form a paste base.) But in Thai restaurants, look for stir-fry dishes with the hot green chili peppers. They figure in excellent savory noodle dishes with meats and fresh basil, for instance. Once a co-worker and I ordered such a dish at Thai Taste in Milpitas (now closed I think, unfortunately). The co-worker being from Mexico liked things hot, and asked for it "very spicy" and I went along with that. Good Thai restaurants will more than accommodate anyone's idea of "very spicy." (We both paid for it all afternoon.) Bua in Milpitas is another favorite local Thai place though jammed every weekday at noon (arrive before 11:50 or forget it) -- 209 South Main St., 408 945 8661), maybe easier at dinner. Downtown SJ has some Thai restaurants too, and the commercial developments just north of SJ on Barber Lane near the 237/880 junction (Ufferts Center and Ranch 99). Tip: Look for those with Thai ownership or at least cooks; some others hail from other SE Asian countries and can be less authentic.

                                  Periodically different peppers contend for title of "hottest." They usually run around a million strength (concentration above the taste threshold). Longtime traditional contenders include variants of the Scotch Bonnet (I was given an exotic plant derived from C. America that claimed to be over a million -- "don't even touch the leaves" -- but didn't have as much sun as the plant is accustomed to). And a harmless-looking little green number from Thailand affectionately nicknamed the "Thai mouse t*rd" that has nailed more than one innocent tourist -- it resembles a green Jelly Belly, but not in flavor.