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Nov 6, 2008 05:50 AM

San Diego: Thai for a group of 10 on Friday

Good morning. I'm visiting San Diego with a group of college friends this weekend. This is a trip we do every November to a new city. We have a tradition of going out for Thai food, which is sometimes exciting (try finding good vegan Thai in New Orleans).

In San Diego, it looks like the problem is a wealth of good options. So I'm hoping to get some advice from experienced diners. Our big constraint is handling a group of 10 on a Friday. Another constraint is that our group contains vegans and vegetarians. Budget wise we are pretty flexible, but looking for good food and good value more than upscale. I'm thinking $20-30 a person before drinks. We are staying at hotels in the Gaslamp district, but should have cars and don't really mind traveling for good food.

On the theory that the best way to start a discussion on the Internet is to post some wrong answers, here are some restaurants that have been spoken highly of in other posts. I'm not sure which of these are still liked, and which would be able to handle a group of 10.

* Celadon - Has gone downhill some say. In Hillcrest.
* Rama Thai - New restaurant by Celadon person
* Royal Thai
* Amarin Thai - Maybe too small for our group
* Golden Dragon - Also in Hillcrest. Not upscale, but chowhound likes it.
* Taste of Thai (via del la valle Del Mar)
* Siam Basil in Encinitas (Hwy 101) near Encinitas Blvd.
* Spice and Rice Thai Kitchen
* Lotus Thai (gaslamp, not bistro, I don't think we can go as far as Carlsbad)

Thanks for any insight you can give.

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  1. You should consider Antique Thai in Point Loma. It has very good food, ample parking, and is close to downtown. Call them, its busy at lunchtime.
    3373 Rosecrans St.
    San Diego, CA 92110
    (619) 222-0689

    1. My vote is for Karinya Thai in Pacific Beach.

      1. Taste of Thai runs on the Americanized side and I wouldn't drive to Encinitas for Siamese Basil (it wasn't worth it driving 5 minutes away...). Spice and Rice in La Jolla is ok, nothing great.

        Sab E Lee in the USD area would be my top pick, although your party would pretty much fill up the place. Call Toby ahead of time and see if he's willing to reserve the place for you. All of his dishes can be done vegetarian--just ask ahead of time for tofu instead of meat.

        3 Replies
        1. re: daantaat

          Karinya Thai in PB is great with groups and has a really nice separate room with floor seats and veg cuisine.
          We love it and the service is great and prices reasonable.
          Plus, afterwards there is PB for fun!

          1. re: daantaat

            Sab E Lee has 16 chairs total and does not serve alcohol. However, it is the best and most authentic Thai around.

            There is tofu soup on the menu (made with gound pork and shrimp), so that means there is tofu in the kitchen.

            If you are all flying in and are on East Coast time, then going in about 4-5 p.m. our time is slow in the restaurant for Koby. I was the only one eating in there on Tuesday at that time.

            There is no signage on the restaurant per se, it is part of the building with the blue awning that is around the corner facing Ulric at Linda Vista.

            2405 Ulric Street SD 92111 (858) 650-6868 Open Mon-Sat 9:30-9:30

            1. re: daantaat

              They could get Sab E Lee to go and take it down to like the Bay.