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Jan 28, 2008 06:42 AM

Karinya Thai in Pacific Beach

Had an amazing dinner last night at Karinya Thai. Originally we asked the waiter what curry he reccomended and he said the Panang Curry but we decided on the yellow curry with chicken because usually Panang Curry is oily and kind of heavy. We also ordered the phad thai with chicken. But then as we were sitting there we decided because we didn't order an appetizer we would also try the Panang Curry with vegetables. While we were waiting for the food we both had Jasmine tea which was good like usual. The food came out very quickly which I appreciate with Thai food. First I tryed the Phad Thai and that was cooked to perfection. Even though Phad Thai is typically the dish people order its usually not that good. But this Phad Thai had kind of a sweet taste and the noodles were cooked very well. I also liked how they put chopped peanuts on the side. The only complaint that I had was that it was a little oily. Next I tryed the yellow curry which I really enjoyed. It had a smooth flavor and the veggies that were in it tasted very good. The only good yellow curry I had in san diego other than this was Rama but I don't like paying 15 dollars for curry. Thats why i originally found this restaurant so appealing because Zagat gave it the same rating as Rama and it was way cheaper. Next I had the Panang Curry which to my surprise was light like the yellow curry and wasn't seperated with oil. To our waiters credit the Panang Curry was better than the yellow curry. In fact it's the best Curry I have ever had. It also had a smooth taste like the yellow curry but had a more decadent taste. Karinya Thai in PB is now my go to place. It is affordable and the best Thai I have had in San Diego so far. Also it helps that the wait staff is very hospitable and the people are very friendly.

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  1. I've had good meals there. The Tiger Cry steak is good.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Josh

      Are there any thai restaurants you like better than Karinya?

      1. re: lovesfood11

        I love Karinya too. Excellent food with great prices. When you tell them to make it spicy, they do!
        I also like Thai House Kitchen on Convoy. That is very homey and fun.

        1. re: keena

          I've been wanting to try that place also. What dishes do you like there? and do you know if they have brown rice?

          1. re: keena

            "When you tell them to make it spicy, they do!"

            Yes! I've just started asking Thai places to make it a 12 or 13 so I get that pleasure of pain spicyness that makes me perspire. I think most Thai places are on the American scale. Another place that does well with that is Lanna Thai which is located in the same strip mall as Sushi Ota. Great Drunken Noodles.

      2. Back when I lived in PB (10 years ago), I loved Karinya - though I was never that enamored of the match meat with ingredients stir fries.

        The last time I was there - probably 5 years ago - I remember having an excellently prepared and sauced whole fish, but for some reason, I have not been back since. It is good to read these positive reports.


        5 Replies
        1. re: Ed Dibble

          Thanks I just wanted everyone to know what a wonderful experience I had.

          1. re: lovesfood11

            Karinya is my fav but I love Thai House. Funny, yesterday I drove by and now their sign says "Thai House Cuisine"!

              1. re: kare_raisu

                Yes on Convoy just past Balboa.

        2. Since we're on the subject of Thai any of the Thai restaurants down here have Rama chicken (a peanut-spinach-chicken dish)? I used to get it in Seattle all the time but gave up after trying 2 different Thai restaurants down here...

          2 Replies
          1. re: LisaSD

            I've never heard of it but I'm sure some thai restaurant in san diego carries it. Maybe check Karinyas menu or Thai House on convoy street.

            1. re: LisaSD

              Lisa, you might try Antique Thai in Point Loma. They have a version of Rama that has carrots and cabbage instead of spinach, but twice I have asked for spinach instead and they accommodated me. It is the closest to the Rama I know from my days in San Francisco that I have found in San Diego.

              I like mine with tofu, spinach and peanut sauce so if anyone knows of a place with this style... and sorry to go off topic.

                1. re: Ms. Melissa

                  On the south side of Garnet just before Mission Blvd. There is also a parking lot in the back that is free if you eat there, so it's nice not to worry about finding somewhere to park in PB. Ummm, now I am craving mangos and sticky rice!

                2. This wonderful place has been consistently superior for many years. Thanks for reminding me I must go there again soon.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: dazzleM

                    Np and the service there is awesome also.