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May 6, 2008 09:01 AM

Berkeley Thai Temple - needs a prayer?

This morning's Daily Planet has an article about the Thai Temple in Berkeley and their Sunday food offerings. It's popularity has spawned a backlash from some of the neighbors. In response, the city of Berkeley is reviewing their permit and who knows where that will lead to? Already the Temple has made some modifications to alleviate the situation - no more frying of foods because some neighbors complained about the odors :~ ( and shorter hours - 10am to 1pm IIRC. None of this is good news for Hounds ..... Hope that the Sunday Fair survives the review and that the experience isn't compromised too much.

Here's the link to the full article:

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  1. Their permit only allows work from 8am to 8pm. They were starting work as early as 5am to start serving at 8am, which was a violation of both their permit and Berkeley noise regulations, not to mention not very neighborly.

    They run through most of the food in two or three hours, so for those of us who like to sleep in on Sunday that's a big improvement.

    No fried chicken would eliminate one of the three or four dishes worth the trip. I hope they're not talking about the rice-chive cakes.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      Its been on my list to try for awhile, since I don't think its fair to call myself a Berkeley resident until I've gone, but I haven't gone yet. Glad it will still be around.

      Out of curiosity, what are the other 2-3 dishes that make it worth the trip???

      1. re: chemchef

        green papaya salad (som tam)
        fried chicken
        coconut-chive rice cakes (khanom krog)

        Those are all made to order. Most of the other disehs are brought in from Tuk Tuk and other local restaurants.

      2. re: Robert Lauriston

        In all fairness to the neighbors, 5am is definitely an unreasonable time to be clanging pots. I hope both all parties involved can come up with a good compromise and we can continue to enjoy those coconut/chive cakes (knanom krog) and the lively atmosphere at the Thai Temple.

      3. Link:

        Wat Mongkolratanaram (Thai Buddhist Temple)
        1911 Russell St, Berkeley, CA 94703

        1. I was there last month -- and have gone fairly regularly over the years -- and compared to a couple of years ago the food quality has gone way south -- most of the people at my table didn't even finish their meals -- it is rather overcrowded as well.

          1. Pointthemoon - I'm sorry to hear that the foods gone downhill. It's been years since I was last there, but I often think about going back - especially for those coconut chive cakes. Anyone know of any place else that sells those coconut chive cakes?

            3 Replies
            1. re: kresge86

              That's the only thing that can get me there too! I'd love to find these somewhere else.

              1. re: kresge86

                The Thai temple in San Bruno offers the kanom krok on Sunday. Food's better there than Berkeley any way. However, there may be some neighbor problems there too. I haven't been to the San Bruno temple for over a year.

                Wat Buddhapradeep
                310 Poplar Ave, San Bruno, CA

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  I was just at the San Bruno temple last Sunday - it's much lower key than Berkeley or the Fremont temple for that matter. They have the key elements though - som tam, kanom krok, fried chicken and sticky rice - plus some nice noodle soup with beef balls and the requisite mango with sticky rice. All made fresh by local Thais who see their temple service as part of merit making. No chits needed - just pay in cash - all the main food is $5 per generous serving, the desserts are $4. Didn't hear of any neighbor problems - we arrived a little late at 12:30 pm and there was still plenty of food.

                  Next Sunday (5/11), there is some sort of fair in Golden Gate Park so all the food from San Bruno wat is moving up there. Sorry I don't have details on the GGP event though, I didn't really pay attention since I'm excited to be going to Ad Hoc for Mother's Day brunch!

              2. Yecch!!! Ate there a few years back and all there is to say is "meh".. WTF is up with buying "chits" first like you're @ a frickin' carnival?! So very "Berkeley" and so not up to all the hype. A bunch of cheapskates looking for a bargain...crappy food and by the time you find a place to sit, it's cold, to boot! Emperors new clothes....

                1 Reply
                1. re: adamshoe

                  The food is only okay but it's cheap, for a good cause and it's very Berkeley.