HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >

Lers Ros Thai - SF - Report

Dave MP Jan 31, 2009 05:02 PM

After reading about Lers Ros Thai on chowhound (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/563062), two friends and I gave it a try last night. Overall, I thought it was great, and it may be the best Thai I've had in SF.

The menu is a bit puzzling, and there are language barriers even with the waitresses, who speak pretty good English but couldn't fully answer all of my questions. For example, there is a section of the menu called "Rice Soup" which I thought would be congee or would have rice related dishes - but we ordered the salted egg salad from this section, and it contained no rice at all. Is it supposed to be eaten with rice soup? I was confused. We shared:

#13 - Som Tom Koong Yang - Papaya salad w/ grilled prawns. This came out first, and it was spicy! We were not asked how spicy we wanted our food, and considering we didn't even ask to make it spicy, I thought the heat level was impressive. Like others mentioned, the papaya slices were rather large (almost seemed hand cut), but I thought it tasted very fresh and was seasoned perfectly with a good balance of chili, lime and fish sauce. The grilled shrimp were also soaked in the sauce, and were cooked well. This came garnished with some cabbage, which we ended up eating as it helped cool our mouths. I would definitely order this again.

#4 - Thai Herb Sausage - After hearing about this dish, I knew I wanted it, and I was not disappointed. I really like SE Asian sausages, and I thought this was as good (if not better) than the sausage at Champa Garden in Oakland. The sausage was cooked medium, and served on a bed of lettuce with various condiments (peanuts, chilis, sliced ginger). No dipping sauce, but it was flavorful (lots of lemongrass) without any.

#53 - Kao Kha Moo - Pork leg w/ five spices. We got this a la carte, and it was a large serving of pork - a good portion of both fat and lean meat. This was all piled on a bed of pickled mustard greens and fresh chinese broccoli. This came with a dipping sauce, which I found on the sweet side, but I was impressed with the pork and both veggies. Really good, compares well with the version at Thai House Express - the veggies were certainly better, though the pork at THE is perhaps a bit more to my taste. But it's very close.

unnumbered - Yum Kai Khem - Salted egg salad with fresh lime and chili dressing, from the Rice Soup section. A small was $3.50. The salted eggs were indeed quite salty, but I liked the combination of flavors in this salad, and it went well with the spicier items on the table.

#79 - Rad nah - I don't usually enjoy this dish, but I thought it was great here. The gravy had lots of cornstarch and it was a bit gloopy, but the flavor was excellent. The pieces of pork were tender and tasty, and the noodles had good wok flavor despite being covered in gravy. This was mild and came out last - a nice ending to the meal.

After all the food was on the table, one of the waitresses commented that we had ordered well and had chosen authentic Thai dishes. She asked me how I knew about these foods, and I replied that I read about them and that I hadn't even ever been to Thailand. It seemed like a good number of the diners were Thai though, and we saw some interesting things on other tables. I had a small taste from a neighboring table of the #110, Kaeng Som Cha-Om Khai Tod, which is fried egg and acacia in a tamarind/chili broth - served in a hot pot on the table. The egg and acacia were in omelet-like pieces in the soup - I didn't love the little fried omelets, but I thought the broth was excellent.

It wasn't very crowded on Friday night - I was expecting it to be packed, but it was only 3/4 full at its peak. The menu is overwhelmingly big - last night they had two alligator specials on a board on the wall.

We had two orders of sticky rice (they were small indeed), and the amount of food we had was more than enough for 3 people. Total bill before tip was $38, which I thought was a great deal. I did not think servings were small (as others had commented) but perhaps it depends on what you order? But servings of things like papaya salad and the noodles were pretty typical.

I definitely recommend trying this place, and I'll definitely be back.

Dave MP

-----
Lers Ros Thai
730 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. p
    P. Punko RE: Dave MP Jan 31, 2009 08:37 PM

    Whenever I've had Rod Nah/Nar it is gloopy, so I don't order it. But it is great to know that you liked the taste here. I can't wait to go. Do you know if they had grilled or fried sticky rice balls on the menu?

    1. s
      sfbing RE: Dave MP Feb 2, 2009 11:19 AM

      I'm glad you liked it, b/c I'm worried the place doesn't have enough business.

      The rice soup is $1 and is the first item listed in the rice soup section. I have no idea how big the portion is, since I haven't been here for breakfast. Everything listed below is a strongly flavored condiment that can be added to soup, but can also be eaten with rice. That is probably why she didn't ask whether you wanted any rice soup.

      When I was vacationing in Thailand rice soup was a watery rice porridge (AKA jook or congee) that usually showed up at breakfast. By itself, it was pretty bland (mostly water, possibly a little stock or fish sauce for seasoning) and you were supposed to add other stuff to it. I often liked it plain, so I got a lot of weird looks from the Thai cooks ("Are you sure that's a good idea?").

      As for the grilled/fried sticky rice, it is not on the menu. That isn't surprising because they don't seem like Northerners.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sfbing
        Melanie Wong RE: sfbing Feb 3, 2009 10:25 PM

        Thanks for ID'ing the rice soup section here. When I used to frequent Ozone Thai, that was my favorite part of the menu. Looking forward to sampling LR's.

      2. Dave MP RE: Dave MP Feb 8, 2009 09:48 PM

        I ate at Lers Ros again this Friday, again a party of 3. Our meal was good, but I didn't enjoy our selections as much as I did on my first visit. We tried all new things:

        25) Larb Phed Yang - Duck larb - This was excellent. The pieces of duck were flavorful and tender, the dressing on the salad again had a great balance of sweet/savory/spicy. Would definitely order this again.

        9) Koh Moo Yang - Grilled slices of pork shoulder. Advertised as smoky and tasty, these were only OK for me. I didn't think they had a whole lot of flavor, and the meat was a bit tough. They were served with a good dipping sauce though.

        56) Garlic and Ginger rice w/ crispy chicken, served w/ sweet chili sauce. I liked the rice - nice gingery flavor, and quite tasty. I wouldn't mind ordering a side of this to go w/ other dishes in the future. The chicken tasted like the type of chicken fingers you get at greasy east coast chinese restaurants - lots of batter that is sorta sweet and crunchy. Dipping sauce for this I thought was way too sweet.

        80) Sukiyaki - Soup - Advertised as silver noodles w/ vegetable, meat served with or without red seasoned soybean based sauce. Ours apparently did have soybean sauce, since the soup was bright pink. Definitely the pinkest soup I have ever eaten. Not any meat, only seafood (shrimp, fish balls, squid), and vegetables and noodles. I can't decide if I liked the soup. It reminded me of a similar soup that I loved - I actually posted one of my first chowhound posts about it back in 2001, since I was trying to find it. And this is definitely a related recipe. But I think the red bean paste changed the flavor and made me like this less. But if anyone has any hints about how to find the soup I do like, let me know. Perhaps Lers Ros could make it. Here's the 2001 link:

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/141330

        Last, from the rice soup section of the menu, we shared the Yum Pla Khem - fried salted fish w/ fresh lime and chili, and also a bowl of the rice soup (a slightly more liquidy version of congee). The serving of rice soup was generous, we split it into three bowls. The fish was very salty, perhaps a bit too much for me, but I did like it in small bits in the rice soup. So while this dish may not be to my taste, it seemed authentic and well prepared.

        So overall, some hits and misses. Thai Iced tea was good. Service was okay, but they seemed to be rushing us out even though it was quite early and the restaurant was half empty. They brought us our check without even asking us if we wanted dessert (which we maybe did!)

        I will certainly be back though - still so much to discover on the menu, and perhaps next visit I'll go back to favorites from my first two tries.

        Dave MP

        13 Replies
        1. re: Dave MP
          t
          ThaiNut RE: Dave MP Feb 9, 2009 03:26 AM

          Dave,

          'Sukiyaki' is, of course, a Japanese name and not Thai. I guess they used Japanese for this dish because that word is far more recognizable than the Thai name. The actual Thai name for this pink, mixed seafood soup is pronounced like 'Yen-Taa-Foe.' And in Thai it is spelled "เย็นตาโฟ." It's not commonly offered in stateside Thai restaurants, and when it is offered it is far more commonly served as a 1-person lunchtime meal rather than as part of an evening meal that would be shared by 2 or more people.

          1. re: ThaiNut
            Dave MP RE: ThaiNut Feb 9, 2009 06:31 AM

            Hmm, interesting.

            I did more research into 'Suki" soup, and it appears that this refers to a type of hot pot dish that is popular in Thailand and Cambodia....this doesn't really match the Yen Taa Foe *or* the Cambodian soup I ate, though it seems there is some common connection because there was a certain flavor in the broth that was shared by the soup at Lers Ros and the Cambodian soup I had a long time ago.

            But the Cambodian soup that was called "Suki Soup" wasn't a do-it-yourself hotpot either, it was an already prepared soup. So I dunno what the answer is.

            Re: the ten taa foe - in Thailand is that generally a 1 person lunch time meal? Or did you just mean that that's how it is in the US?

            1. re: Dave MP
              t
              ThaiNut RE: Dave MP Feb 9, 2009 12:54 PM

              The pink color of real Thai yen-taa-foe comes from cubes of bottled bean curd that are died pink. This stuff is called Tao-Huu-Yii. I have no idea if stateside Thai restaurants can get, and use, the bottled stuff or whether they just use a little red food coloring.

              If you are familiar with the Thai company that makes packages of dried noodle soups in the 'Mama' brand that are quite popular, one variety they make is a yen-taa-foe and the package has considerable pink coloring. The very top line on the package says "เส้นหมี่กึ่งสำเรจรูปเย็นตาโฟ" which translates to something like 'thin rice noodle yen-taa-foe ready to cook.' I have a package but have not tried it.

              That rice soup dish that you shared that was called Yum Pla Khem ('salt fish salad' is how that translates) is another dish, like the yen-taa-foe, that most stateside Thai restaurants won't put on the menus that are for westerners but they will have them on a special Thai-language menu for Thai customers. Both of those dishes are usually considered too sharp tasting for the western palate. The fish is supposed to be VERY salty and you eat it in very small pieces with the rice soup.

              So it sounds like Lers Ros is putting out some very authentic Thai dishes.

              In Bangkok there are a number of Sukiyaki places but no one considers these to be Thai. The hot pot with the boiling broth is automatic and then you order all the meat, seafood, vegetables and noodles that you want to dump into the broth. I've been to a few such places but can't recall ever seeing a pink broth.

              In Thailand, for lunch Thais will often order a 1-plate dish such as noodle soup, phad thai, or some sort of meat/fish served on top of rice. And that is when most yen-taa-foe gets eaten, as a 1-plate dish as a lunch meal for one person. But in the evening and with family or friends Thais will almost never order any dish just for themselves. Instead, everything is ordered for the whole table and everything gets shared around. Yen-taa-foe just doesn't lend itself to being passed around a table so maybe that's why its much more popular as a lunch meal.

          2. re: Dave MP
            felice RE: Dave MP Feb 13, 2009 02:28 PM

            Funny, I think I was there that same Friday. I'm glad to see more reports - I am trying to make my way through the menu as well. Here's my take on a few more of their dishes:

            57) Crispy chicken over fried rice. Basically a chicken thigh battered and fried over fried rice. Served with the orange-ish sweet chili sauce that you can buy in a bottle. This is the kind of dish you would order for little kids if they can't eat spicy. It was fine, but really boring.

            61) Basil leaves with chicken entrails. This dish is just like basil chicken, with chicken meat replaced by chicken entrails. This included heart, gizzard, and what looked like kidney (but seemed large for chicken kidney so perhaps pig kidney?). Delicious! It was spicy and the cooking liquid was flavored by the entrails. I like this dish better than basil chicken.

            69) Native thai style herb and meat noodle soup. This is a very dark soup with tons and tons of herb and meat flavor. This soup is more concentrated than anything I've had at any noodle soup shop. I ate it doctored up with some of the condiments that they brought by. For me, these condiments are essential to the soup. This was a very large serving and there was a lot of anise flavor. This is a complex and interesting soup and it makes me want to try the others.

            113) Quick fried marinated trout with mango sauce. This is definitely a winner. The whole fish is cut in half lengthwise, lightly battered, and fried. The tail, head, and most of the bones were crispy enough to eat, but the flesh was not dry at all. The mango sauce, which sounds horrific, is a actually a lime-chili sauce with green mango.

            There's still more to try!

            1. re: felice
              DezzerSF RE: felice Feb 13, 2009 04:47 PM

              I agree about #57, pretty uninteresting. But #61 sounds like my kind of dish. I love Gai Gaprow, and I love chicken innards, what a great combo!

              #69 sounds like Boat Noodle soup, is it?

              1. re: DezzerSF
                felice RE: DezzerSF Feb 17, 2009 10:01 AM

                I was hoping #69 was boat noodle soup (like I had at the floating market near Bangkok). I remember boat noodle soup broth to be on the lighter side, more like pho broth. When it arrived, #69 was very dark and intense - as dark or darker than duck noodle soup broth. Perhaps boat noodle soup is different depending on which boat you're on, but in a blind tasting I would not identify #69 as boat noodle soup.

                1. re: felice
                  DezzerSF RE: felice Feb 17, 2009 10:22 AM

                  The version of Boat Noodle Soup I had was also very dark, fairly intense, with soy & anise notes, and it's traditionally thickened with blood. What type of meat cuts were in the soup?

                  Here's a link to a Boat Noodle thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/386800

                  1. re: DezzerSF
                    felice RE: DezzerSF Feb 18, 2009 10:43 AM

                    Thanks for the link! It sounds like boat noodle soup, although I don't think theirs was thickened with blood (although if the effect is very subtle I may not have recognized it). This one had skirt steak and beef balls.

                    1. re: felice
                      twocents RE: felice Jul 3, 2009 10:32 PM

                      This is definitely boat noodle soup as I know it. There are two main schools- light and dark- as I have experienced it in the states, but the commonality is in the herbs that are used to make up the broth and the use of blood. I am not totally sure what the difference is between the light and dark is... it's possible that some of the light versions don't have any blood, but at the same time I am pretty sure that many of the light versions do have blood, e.g. King of Thai Noodle. The dark versions do have blood and it typically manifests as a dark cloudiness or suspension that does have a tendency to settle if left undisturbed. I have never had a version locally where the blood is a dominant flavor, as with cubed pork or duck blood cakes, or in dinuguan. It always provides a base flavor that is not markedly metallic or "bloody," like in the milder versions of blood sausage.

                      I liked Lers Ros' #69 noodle very much, but still prefer Ruen Pair's and Thai Noodle (Berkeley) at the moment. The most bloody versions I've had have been Boat Noodle House (Berkeley) and Champa Garden (Oakland), but they're not my favorites.

                      The fried sun-dried beef jerky (Nuer Tod) here was one of the better versions I've had made with the sun-dried beef. Distinctly preferred this to Chai Thai Noodles' version, which I have had recently. I think it is also better than Thai House Express' Nuer Kem (fried marinated beef jerky).

                      Som Tum ordered spicy was reasonably so, similar to Ruen Pair Medium Spicy, more so than THE's spicy.

                      1. re: twocents
                        rworange RE: twocents Jul 18, 2009 04:02 PM

                        Have you tried the boat noodle soup at DeDe Noodles in Richmond?

              2. re: felice
                s
                sfbing RE: felice Feb 13, 2009 09:41 PM

                Just had #61 on your rec. Tasty! FYI the bigger pieces are chicken liver which were strangely not that livery.

                I might not order it again, but #110 was ...interesting. The acacia made the egg omelets taste very woodsy and healthy. I thought the broth was a little too sweet, though.

                The fish cakes (#4) were tender with little shreds of kaffir lime leaves. Very good.

                1. re: sfbing
                  DezzerSF RE: sfbing Feb 13, 2009 10:07 PM

                  I think they might soak the livers in milk or cream, as I've had unlivery liver before as well.

                2. re: felice
                  d
                  David Wishart RE: felice Feb 17, 2009 10:07 PM

                  This dish has impressed me too!

                  113) Quick fried marinated trout with mango sauce. This is definitely a winner. The whole fish is cut in half lengthwise, lightly battered, and fried. The tail, head, and most of the bones were crispy enough to eat, but the flesh was not dry at all. The mango sauce, which sounds horrific, is a actually a lime-chili sauce with green mango.

              3. BernalKC RE: Dave MP Feb 28, 2009 10:25 PM

                Love, love love this place. OMG. Love it. Thai isn't boring anymore.

                Went with a group of five, which made the ginormous menu less daunting since we got to sample and explore more of the variety. Here was our meal:
                1) Fried Tofu - excellent - Did not expect much, but this was a star. Who knew tofu could be interesting? I only wish they'd pair this with another sauce.
                4) Thai Herb Sausage - very interesting - I agree with the others, this is a hit.
                29) Pho Tak - spicy and sour soup with assorted seafood - very good, I like this style soup. Clean bright flavors, done well. Maybe too familiar. This place is all about different, and this was... familiar.
                83) Pra Ram Kai - spiced chicken with spinach and peanut sauce. I had low expectations, but this peanut sauce was rich with coconut milk and it all worked well together.
                Speical) Soft Shelled Crab - deep fried, this dish was much better when it landed on the table piping hot than it did by the time it cooled down.
                37) Kang Phed Nang - red curry with roasted duck - good, complex, flavorful curry, but not the best format for duck. I found myself picking the juicy, meating pieces of duck out of the curry to savor on their own, and enjoying the curry over rice.
                113) Pla Trout Tod Nam Pla - fried, quick marinated trout. I agree with the others here, this was a hit. I served my friends the bigger pieces of fish so I could gooble up the skin, the small bones, the tail, the cheeks -- I worked this dish over. Great chili sauce.

                1. Robert Lauriston RE: Dave MP Mar 8, 2009 11:41 AM

                  This is the best Thai food I've had. Better than Thai House Express, Chai Thai in Oakland, or Jitlada in LA. (I haven't been to Thailand.)

                  Two of us shared:

                  #9 koh moo yang / grilled slices of pork shoulder ($7.25). I think this is the same dish as Chai Thai's pork neck. Similar but better, nice smokiness, great dipping sauce with black pepper and rice powder.

                  #110 kaeng som cha-om khai tod / "fried egg with acacia in house-made tamarind & chili broth" ($15.95). This soup comes to the table in a covered miniature hot pot over an alcohol burner. Acacia leaves are made into a sort of omelet, which is cut into pieces and added to the soup.

                  #113 plat trout tod nam pla / fried whole trout ($12.95). Perfectly fried trout with a great dry rub including I'm pretty sure Sichuan pepper, moist inside, so crispy outside you could crunch the bones and fins. Nice subtle dipping sauce.

                  From the specials menu, variation on #3, fish cake in chile sauce with preserved bamboo shoots ($7.95?). Housemade fish cakes have a great texture and subtle flavor. I think the bamboo shoots are the same preparation as at Thai House Express, but they had only a hint of that funky aroma.

                  I'd order any of these again except the acacia dish, and it's definitely worth trying.

                  The chalkboard special I didn't notice until too late was pork livers with chile sauce ($7.95).

                  I was particularly impressed the chile sauces that came with three of the dishes each had completely different seasonings. The server warned us that the soup was spicy, but none of the dishes came close to exceeding my capsicum comfort zone.

                  I'm returning soon and often to explore more of the menu. Beer, wine, Smirnoff Ice, and sake, no hard liquor. Menu says free delivery with $15 minimum order. Open till 2am every day!

                  18 Replies
                  1. re: Robert Lauriston
                    s
                    sfbing RE: Robert Lauriston Mar 8, 2009 12:25 PM

                    I think Lers Ros is the best Thai in the Bay Area right now, but the seasoning at Jitlada is much more sophisticated. (At least, if you ask them to cook it like they would eat at home.) Loved the wild curry with sator beans and the chicken soup with fresh turmeric so much that I would fly down just to eat there.

                    I love the menu at Lers Ros, but I do think Lers Ros needs to turn up the heat a notch or two for us non-Thai customers. BTW, I saw a Thai dude ordering the tom yum (which I had assumed to be boring) and it looked and smelled VERY good.

                    1. re: sfbing
                      Robert Lauriston RE: sfbing Mar 12, 2009 11:58 AM

                      Jitlada has a more exotically stocked pantry, that's for sure.

                      Further research is required, but tentatively I think Lers Ros's food is more sophisticated. The cooking is precise and subtle. I had the trout a second time and it was just as perfect.

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston
                        s
                        SteveG RE: Robert Lauriston Mar 12, 2009 12:13 PM

                        Jitlada's online menu looks pretty tame and westernized, are the in-restaurant specials more exotic?

                        We've never been, but have heard that a friend of a friend who is the son of a famous Thai general swears by Jitlada, but I'm guessing he also gets to order "off menu." Obviously not nearly specific information for me to have posted about it...but you and sfbing have me curious now.

                        1. re: SteveG
                          s
                          sfbing RE: SteveG Mar 12, 2009 12:44 PM

                          The Jitlada in Los Angeles has several pages in the back that are very unWesternized. The following chowhound post has a link with a preview:
                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/414265

                          When we went several months ago, we told them we wanted it "cooked like you eat at home." They took us at our word, and the food was incredibly complex and spicy. It is well worth a trip to LA (along with a visit to Ondal2, for spicy korean crab stew). You should also check out what Erik M. reports re: Jitlada.

                          I highly recommend any of the wild curries and we loved the chicken soup with turmeric and lime leaves (the chicken was just cooked and you could tell that it was very very fresh).

                          1. re: SteveG
                            Robert Lauriston RE: SteveG Mar 12, 2009 04:22 PM

                            We're talknig about Jitlada in LA.:

                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4999...

                          2. re: Robert Lauriston
                            s
                            sfbing RE: Robert Lauriston Mar 12, 2009 12:33 PM

                            If only Jitlada were here, it would make it so much easier to compare!

                            1. re: sfbing
                              s
                              SteveG RE: sfbing Mar 12, 2009 03:49 PM

                              Erm...there is a Jitlada in San Francisco, that's the one we've had a friend recommend, but we've been too dubious to go. Anyone been to the one up here? The one in LA doesn't have a web site, so I assume they're different owners.

                              http://www.jitladasf.com/site/index.php

                              I do see banana blossom salad, which is one of my favorites and seen too rarely in the bay area.

                              1. re: SteveG
                                a
                                artemis RE: SteveG Mar 12, 2009 04:02 PM

                                i went a few months ago.

                                with the caveat that i haven't been to the new thai places (sai jai, ler ros, and i forget the other one), but had been a thai house express regular, i thought a few of the dishes at jitlada were the closest of anything in sf to those i had in thailand for several weeks last august. the curries especially, with a complex flavor and the coconut cream garnish. was it amazing? no, but it was very good and i would definitely go back and get another green curry. it tasted and looked "right." also, lemongrass tea, which was also evocative of thailand.

                                otoh, the salmon dish (not my choice) was not good. it was a piece of salmon with spaghetti with peanut sauce. ick.

                                1. re: SteveG
                                  wolfe RE: SteveG Mar 12, 2009 04:03 PM

                                  Link and commentary on an eight year old Chronicle review by some familiar Chowhounds.
                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/17567

                                  -----
                                  Jitlada Thai Cuisine
                                  1826 Buchanan St, San Francisco, CA 94115

                                  1. re: wolfe
                                    grayelf RE: wolfe Mar 13, 2009 08:21 AM

                                    FWIW a November 2007 meal at Jitlada eaten by two tourists and a local:

                                    After a quick restorative at the hotel, it was time to head over to Jitlada (1826 Buchanan btwn Sutter and Bush) where we had a 7:30 reso. This was a good thing as it was very busy. We met my brother-in-law there (he lives in the Mission) which was also excellent as a) we haven’t seen him in a while and b) we could order more food! We decided to go for Chef Pai’s specialties and ordered the shrimp ginger rolls, the wonton like appetizer offering, the mango salad, the special noodles with black bean, the sea bass and the pumpkin curry with chicken. They were all excellent, with the standouts being the mango salad, noodles and the sea bass. I am somewhat wary of “fusion” approaches but the chef here knows how to mix in different ingredients to complement the more traditional Thai elements and make it all sing. Case in point: dried cranberries in the mango salad. Sounds whacky, tastes awesome. Our bill came to about $90 including a couple of beers so it was also great value. We strolled up and down nearby Fillmore Street to end a great day.

                                    1. re: grayelf
                                      Robert Lauriston RE: grayelf Mar 13, 2009 08:36 AM

                                      $90 for three seems expensive for Thai food.

                                      Again, the Jitlada I compared with Lers Ros is in Los Angeles and worth a trip there.

                                      1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                        t
                                        tex.s.toast RE: Robert Lauriston Mar 13, 2009 11:31 AM

                                        To merge your two points - the last time i was at jitlada in LA i think we paid about that much for dinner for 7. and we couldnt even finish everything. It was almost so cheap i felt like we were in bangkok.

                                        1. re: tex.s.toast
                                          grayelf RE: tex.s.toast Mar 15, 2009 11:22 PM

                                          Hi Robert:

                                          I was responding to wolfe's post about the SF Jitlada, which BTW was reasonable compared to similar level of Thai in Vancouver with beers included. The best Thai I've had was in Toronto but my frame of reference is pretty limited as I've never been to Thailand, and I haven't dined in LA since I was too young to know what I was eating...

                          3. re: Robert Lauriston
                            s
                            SteveG RE: Robert Lauriston Mar 9, 2009 03:17 PM

                            We had an excellent meal at Lers Ros, definitely had the sense it was going to be our favorite in SF, but wanted to return when we were in less of a hurry before posting. A note on Thai House Express, the one in the Castro has taken most of my favorite dishes off the menu and won't even serve them on request anymore. I'm especially frustrated by the loss of the funky fermented bamboo salad, which while I can't imagine was terribly popular, shouldn't have involved food spoilage losses in the kitchen, since I think it was from a canned product anyway like Burmese tea leaf salad.

                            1. re: SteveG
                              DezzerSF RE: SteveG Mar 9, 2009 10:08 PM

                              Is the fermented bamboo shoot the same as what you can buy at Ranch 99? Or is it somehow funkier? I ask because I eat those things out of the can like a snack.

                              1. re: DezzerSF
                                Robert Lauriston RE: DezzerSF Mar 10, 2009 09:44 AM

                                It's not the canned bamboo shoot you find in Chinese markets.

                                1. re: DezzerSF
                                  s
                                  SteveG RE: DezzerSF Mar 10, 2009 11:39 AM

                                  It was very funky...fermented bamboo is eaten in various parts of asia, in different forms depending on location. Now I'm curious if I can find fermented bamboo at any thai groceries around town...

                                  1. re: SteveG
                                    possumspice RE: SteveG Nov 8, 2009 06:05 PM

                                    If you are talking about sour bamboo shoot, they definitely stock theThai version at Hwa Lei in Mission, and I've bought the Chinese version at one of the little markets on Irving (around 21 or 22nd).

                            2. DezzerSF RE: Dave MP Mar 14, 2009 11:21 PM

                              We gave Lers Ros another shot and had a a very good meal. I left the ordering up to a friend and we had:

                              Pork shoulder appetizer: sliced with a very nice lime/fish sauce/rice powder dipping sauce. The slices of pork were very tender, I really liked this dish a lot.

                              Thai sausage appetizer: garnished with ginger slices, thai chilies, & red onions. Pretty moist Thai sausage, one of the better preps that I've had. Very nice lemongrass flavor and I ended up saving all the thai chilies for the rest of the meal.

                              Whole fried trout: Agree with everyone else, very nicely fried trout with a green mango, lime, fish sauce. We ate the bones and all the skin as well.

                              Basil chicken entrail: Interesting version of Gai Gaprow, flavor was subtle, but the entrails were the star of this dish. Recommended if you like chicken innards.

                              Pad See Ew: good, not a big fan of Thai noodles, but I found no faults with this

                              Pad Kee Mao: I liked this better than the Pad See Ew, nice contrasts of textures and pretty spicy.

                              We wanted to order Papaya salad with the raw crab, but the kitchen was out of the raw crab. Everything was properly spicy, especially with the thai chilies I saved for the whole meal. Not sure if it's the best in SF, but it was definitely very tasty and everything was nicely cooked. The menu is obviously a notch above everyone else's.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: DezzerSF
                                grayelf RE: DezzerSF Mar 15, 2009 11:23 PM

                                Hey Dezzer, not to thread-jack but if Lers Ros isn't your top choice for Thai in SF, what is?

                                1. re: grayelf
                                  DezzerSF RE: grayelf Mar 16, 2009 07:23 AM

                                  Good question...my top choice would have to include excellent som tum (papaya salad) and an excellent hot & sour soup (Tom Yum or variations). These I can get at several different spots, such as Thai House Express and even some locations of King of Thai make really good som tum. Then again, my first visit might have been an off night. But if I would go with my second visit alone, I'd say it's definitely hard to beat.

                              2. Melanie Wong RE: Dave MP Apr 6, 2009 08:20 PM

                                Had my first visit to Lers Ros today for a lovely lunch. One of the staff stopped me on the way out to say that they'll be initiating lunch plates soon, maybe next week. These will feature a choice of two items plus rice during lunch time.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: Melanie Wong
                                  grayelf RE: Melanie Wong Apr 6, 2009 09:30 PM

                                  Really wishing we'd stuck to plan A and hit Lers Ros for dinner instead of Pagolac for bo 7 mon... next time.

                                  1. re: Melanie Wong
                                    hhc RE: Melanie Wong Apr 6, 2009 09:52 PM

                                    Melanie, what did you have for lunch?

                                    1. re: hhc
                                      Melanie Wong RE: hhc Apr 13, 2009 12:54 AM

                                      I wasn't as actively involved in the ordering for this meal, leaving it to others, so I'm not entirely sure of the identity of each dish. With some help from the online menu, here's the list of what I think we tried.

                                      #33 Tom Yum Kha Moo, traditional spicy and sour soup with stewed pork leg
                                      #26 Yum Pla Duk Foo, lime based salad dressing, salad of fried catfish with chili and plenty of garden vegetables
                                      #79 Rad Nah, house secret gravy sauce and marinated pork topping on the seasoned flat noodle
                                      #113 Pla Trout Tod Nam Pla, fried quick marinated whole trout in fish sauce and pepper, served with mango sauce
                                      I think we also had some kind of fish cake/fish paste dish and another pork dish.
                                      http://www.lersros.com/

                                      1. re: Melanie Wong
                                        daveena RE: Melanie Wong Apr 14, 2009 09:27 PM

                                        The second pork dish was #17 - Yum Koh Moo Yang, slices of tender, juicy roasted pork shoulder with a spicy lime dressing and rice powder. The fish cake with bamboo and curry paste was one of the specials.

                                        Most of the dishes we had have been discusssed already in this thread (and I concur with pretty much all of the opinions expressed on them), but I think the following haven't yet been described in detail:

                                        #17 - Yum Koh Moo Yang - I loved this dish. Super-juicy slices of pork (the menu describes it as "quick-marinated" - the texture makes me think it may have been brined) in a complex, balanced dressing.

                                        #26 - Yum Pla Duk Foo - the fried catfish pieces were remarkably fluffy in appearance - I've only had this dish at Chai Thai Noodle in Oakland, where the pieces are larger (although still small), and there's a distinct demarcation between batter and fish. The version at LRT is almost like soong - protein fried until it's a nearly unrecognizable froth. Again, excellent, balanced dressing.

                                        #33 Tom Yum Kha Moo - the stewed pork leg was mostly skin (although what little meat there was was tender and delicious). The broth itself was fantastic, with the porkiness holding its own against the lemongrass, lime, and chilis.

                                        1. re: daveena
                                          Melanie Wong RE: daveena Apr 16, 2009 05:54 PM

                                          Thanks for filling in the rest of the story. The menu's so huge here, it will take scores of chowhound reports to cover it.

                                  2. Robert Lauriston RE: Dave MP Apr 7, 2009 09:44 AM

                                    Third visit confirms this is the best Thai I've ever had. Two of us shared:

                                    "Pork puff" special: samosas, basically, with a peanut dipping sauce.

                                    #27 tom kha kai: exponentially better version of this classic chicken-coconut milk soup than I've had previously. It's like I never knew what the dish was supposed to be before.

                                    #62 pad kra prow moo krob / stir-fried pork belly with basil: chicharron curry. Excellent. Too much for two people, would have been about right for four.

                                    #79 rad nah / "house secret gravy sauce and marinated pork topping on the seasoned flat noodle": again exponentially better version of a dish I've eaten many times elsewhere. Great wok char on the noodles. I'm not sure why it's so soupy--maybe Thais eat this with rice?

                                    #107 kaeng keaw wan luk chin pla-krai / "spicy green curry with real fish paste, sliced bamboo shoot, and red [Bell] pepper": house-made fish cake or mousse, actually. I was expecting intense fishiness but it was actually very delicate. Delicious.

                                    I'd order any of these again except maybe the pork puff, which was good but not as exciting as most of the other dishes I've tried.

                                    With four Chang beers, came to $61 with tax before tip. Would have been enough food for three, we pigged out and had leftovers.

                                    17 Replies
                                    1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                      s
                                      SteveG RE: Robert Lauriston Apr 7, 2009 10:08 AM

                                      Yeah, we've been back and our first visit wasn't a fluke. This place is far and away the best Thai I've had in the bay area.

                                      I didn't order it so I'm not entirely sure what it's called, but we had an intensely salty and funky chunk of cured fish with aromatic herbs sprinkled on top, which I think was listed as a rice salad. It's best eaten by breaking up the salty cured fish and mixing it in with rice.

                                      We've also enjoyed their fresh fish cakes, which we almost never order anywhere else in the area.

                                      1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                        s
                                        sfbing RE: Robert Lauriston Apr 7, 2009 10:20 AM

                                        Just tried their steamed fish (which at $15 something is like the most expensive thing on the menu), which I think is far better than the trout. Very fragrant and stuffed with lemongrass and other herbs.

                                        Their tom yum is kind of creamy.

                                        And the black pepper rabbit special is chunks of bone-in rabbit fried with garlic and a sweet tart dipping sauce. I'm a fan, but I love eating bunny.

                                        1. re: sfbing
                                          k
                                          Kristine RE: sfbing Apr 7, 2009 11:18 AM

                                          I stopped in to get take out last week, I got what I would usually order at Thai House Express to take home. Red curry pork, not very exciting I know but I wanted something that would travel well.

                                          When I got home I was shocked at how much oil had settled on the top of the curry, it was at least 1inch deep, now I know fat is flavor and certain foods need to be prepared in more fat than I would normally use at home, but I could not in good concious eat this much oil in one sitting, so I drained most of it off (Don't worry I left plenty) The curry was great, better than THE.
                                          I loved that the vegetables retained their flavor and still had just enough crunch. The curry itself had more depth of flavor than any other curry I've had.

                                          I'm anxious to go back but frankly the oil incident scares me. I was wondering if anyone else has noticed the use copious amounts of oil in thier cooking or was I just there at an off day? I was there between lunch and dinner and the place was empty.

                                          1. re: Kristine
                                            Robert Lauriston RE: Kristine Apr 7, 2009 11:22 AM

                                            None of the food I've had has seemed particularly oily to me. No big layers of oil on top of any of the leftovers I took home.

                                            1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                              k
                                              Kristine RE: Robert Lauriston Apr 8, 2009 10:34 AM

                                              I had a feeling it was a fluke, so now I can't wait to go back! Any suggestions on other dishes that would be good for take out ?

                                              1. re: Kristine
                                                t
                                                tex.s.toast RE: Kristine Apr 8, 2009 11:26 AM

                                                It is my understanding that many authentic thai curry preparations call for the curry to be cooked until the oil separates, and this is not a problem for the average eater - they, just like you did, discard the floating oil on the way to deliciousness below.

                                                I love love love THE but i wouldnt be surprised if the differences you attribute between the two dishes are a product of catering to a more westernized sensibility regarding oil.

                                                1. re: tex.s.toast
                                                  k
                                                  Kristine RE: tex.s.toast Apr 8, 2009 12:04 PM

                                                  I know certain spices need to be fried in oil in order for their flavors to truly bloom...and I didn't have a problem discarding the excess oil, but how would I do that if I were actually eating in? (that is why I was hesitant to return) Believe me I'm not shy when it comes to fat, but at a certain point it can actually get in the way of flavor.

                                                  1. re: Kristine
                                                    t
                                                    tex.s.toast RE: Kristine Apr 8, 2009 12:37 PM

                                                    into a saucer or extra rice bowl, perhaps?

                                                    1. re: Kristine
                                                      s
                                                      SteveG RE: Kristine Apr 9, 2009 01:55 PM

                                                      This is one of the reasons Thais typically don't order multiple curries for a meal; they're usually extremely rich and best shared with many people.

                                                  2. re: Kristine
                                                    Robert Lauriston RE: Kristine Apr 8, 2009 11:27 AM

                                                    Of the dishes I've had, I think anything but the pork puffs and #62 pork belly.

                                              2. re: sfbing
                                                Robert Lauriston RE: sfbing Apr 7, 2009 01:02 PM

                                                I saw the steamed sea bass served to a nearby table last night. Wow. Definitely a must-try for my next visit.

                                              3. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                Melanie Wong RE: Robert Lauriston Dec 16, 2010 11:56 AM

                                                The delicate fish forecemeat patties in #107 were so good. Nancy Berry quipped that they were like homemade gefilte fish and served with the requisite slices of carrot (trimmed with pinking shears here). I would have liked a little more curry paste for a more assertive green sauce, but all in all, a lovely dish that I'd order again.

                                                1. re: Melanie Wong
                                                  Ruth Lafler RE: Melanie Wong Dec 16, 2010 12:20 PM

                                                  I didn't hear Nancy say that from the other end of the table, but I was thinking the same thing: that fish was just right for Hanukkah!

                                                  1. re: Melanie Wong
                                                    DezzerSF RE: Melanie Wong Dec 17, 2010 09:05 AM

                                                    I liked the fish patties as well, and agree with you about a more assertive curry. I wish they would have included more veggies as well.

                                                    I tried the Po-Tak?, sour seafood soup, which was pretty nice though slightly on the salty side. But the broth was quite complex and tasty otherwise with kaffir lime leaves, galangal, and lemongrass. It included clams, shrimp, squid, and fishballs, all cooked well.

                                                    The sauteed calamari in chili paste was also a nice change of pace from my usual dishes. The calamari was nice and tender and the dish was better with the Thai chiles in fish sauce condiment that I requested.

                                                    1. re: Melanie Wong
                                                      mariacarmen RE: Melanie Wong Dec 18, 2010 03:22 PM

                                                      This wasn't a Chowdown I missed, was it? I'm dying to go to Lers Ros for my first time with a group so I can try a lot of dishes. Would some of you be willing to go again, maybe after the holidays?

                                                      Or, when is Greyelf back - maybe that should be a Chowdown event at LR.... i don't think she's been yet.... Greyelf?

                                                      1. re: mariacarmen
                                                        Melanie Wong RE: mariacarmen Dec 18, 2010 03:44 PM

                                                        No, not a chowdown but a completely impromptu dinner. I believe there was a chowdown there with Greyelf on an earlier visit. The site rules & etiquette do ask that you not use thee boards for planning. You can send a message via the yahoo chowdown distribution list (i believe you're a registered member) to ask folks to contact you with their interest and take it from there.

                                                        1. re: Melanie Wong
                                                          mariacarmen RE: Melanie Wong Dec 18, 2010 04:46 PM

                                                          ok, thanks.

                                                  2. d
                                                    dietndesire RE: Dave MP Apr 18, 2009 06:00 AM

                                                    Damn, I so want to try this place. Would really like to find some very good/great Thai in US.
                                                    And this joint is cheap, especially if the portions are large.
                                                    Too bad my SF trip got canned.
                                                    Glad someone pointed this out since it seems to stand out so much, makes it easy. Hate sorting through the piles.

                                                    11 Replies
                                                    1. re: dietndesire
                                                      p
                                                      P. Punko RE: dietndesire Apr 18, 2009 01:20 PM

                                                      It is pretty good, portions are not huge. Service is super nice and friendly. Wider variety menu is the biggest draw. The restaurant is very clean and bright, and the food is well prepared.

                                                      We had an eel and chili paste dish that was dominated by green peppercorns that gave it an interesting texture.

                                                      Seafood green curry, very tasty but not very spicy (we told the waitress we could handle spice, and certain dishes were spicy).

                                                      Som tum green papaya salad with shrimp was excellent and pretty spicy.

                                                      Whole fried trout with mango sauce (an awesomely piquant sauce served on the side) was delicious but probably overcooked. The simplicity of the dish made it awesome.

                                                      Pad kee mao with chicken. Pretty standard but well made, I think I like it better at Thai House Express or Osha Thai (up the street or over a few blocks).

                                                      Kha Kee Moo. Pork leg stew. Very simple dish of braised pork leg flavored with star anise and other components of chinese five spice powder. Served with chinese broccoli and pickled vegetables and a piquant sauce on the side. This was good but the meat wasn't quite falling apart so not as good as Thai House Express up the street.

                                                      I would keep this place at the top of my Thai list simply because of the extensive menu. I think of it this way- I won't expect every version of a dish I've had before somewhere else to be necessarily the best I've had, but I would definitely expect to have things I haven't had before, prepared very well to boot.

                                                      1. re: P. Punko
                                                        d
                                                        dietndesire RE: P. Punko Apr 18, 2009 02:30 PM

                                                        So what is your #1 overall Thai in Bay Area?
                                                        And overall by popular voice?
                                                        Or are there a handful that are very similar in quality, that is fine.
                                                        I do not want to be go to 3 spots if I have limited time but would probably hit some Thai
                                                        somewhere.

                                                        1. re: dietndesire
                                                          p
                                                          P. Punko RE: dietndesire Apr 18, 2009 02:45 PM

                                                          I think this board will say that Lers Ros is the new number 1, but Thai House Express (Tenderloin location) is the old number one I think consensus would say- and they are half a block, or a short block and a half from each other. There are a couple of other places in this same neighborhood that people enjoy as well. Lers Ros has the largest menu by far (as far as I know).

                                                          1. re: P. Punko
                                                            d
                                                            dietndesire RE: P. Punko Apr 18, 2009 02:52 PM

                                                            Y, that was what I thought in regards to rankings,pre Ros and currently, but was fishing in case of something else.

                                                            Large menu does not matter much to me, quality ingredients and proper preparation are what I care for.

                                                            If I have multiple people with, I might do a sampling from both.
                                                            Also, you said in your first sentence that it was "pretty good". Compared to what, rest of Bay Area, some other US city, Thailand itself?

                                                            Just being sensitive to the wording, pretty good is not a huge endorsement.
                                                            If not super terrific, fine, or even excellent, maybe a VERY GOOD would make me feel like it is something really worthwhile.

                                                            1. re: dietndesire
                                                              p
                                                              P. Punko RE: dietndesire Apr 18, 2009 06:01 PM

                                                              Better than most Thai restaurants I have been to. "Pretty good" in this case was that my expectations were through the roof, and while nothing rose to the level of revelation, it was an exceptional meal for the price, and the ingredients were very good, the dishes were well prepared, and the service was friendly. Equal to the best places I have been (Thai House Express in SF, Dok Bua in Boston). I have never been to Thailand, or the moon for that matter ;) .

                                                              The large menu should mean something to you in this case because what it means is that they have dishes that no other Thai place in San Francisco has, and likely very few in the US (based on my experience with generic Thai restaurants in many places). Because of this menu, I think it very much will be worth your while, but that you need to recognize where to place your expectations. I thought it was worth a 30 mile drive for someone with a limited eating out budget. Plus I had Bob's donuts afterwards.

                                                              1. re: dietndesire
                                                                felice RE: dietndesire May 8, 2009 04:44 PM

                                                                I would say best in San Francisco, okay compared to Lotus of Siam in Vegas, and the pits compared to Thailand. How sad.

                                                          2. re: P. Punko
                                                            Robert Lauriston RE: P. Punko Apr 19, 2009 11:40 AM

                                                            To me, the biggest draw is not the length or variety of the menu, but the quality of the ingredients and cooking. The food is an order of magnitude better than at any other Thai place around here.

                                                            I still love the Larkin branch of Thai House Express and its Oakland clone Chai Thai Noodles.

                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/320246
                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/534933

                                                            The third place I'd recommend is Champa Garden in Oakland. I haven't liked most of the Thai dishes I've ordered, but their Laotian specialties are great, and very close in style to Thai food.

                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3780...

                                                            1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                              grayelf RE: Robert Lauriston Apr 19, 2009 12:55 PM

                                                              I still think about the larb pla (catfish "salad") we had at the THE Larkin location almost exactly a year ago. It was stellar and I'd go back and just order that and some rice for a snack.

                                                              1. re: grayelf
                                                                Robert Lauriston RE: grayelf Apr 19, 2009 04:02 PM

                                                                Great stuff. The best serving I've had of that so far was at Chai Thai.

                                                              2. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                                p
                                                                P. Punko RE: Robert Lauriston Apr 19, 2009 07:58 PM

                                                                I would never disagree with RL, save in rare circumstances. An order of magnitude is high. Few places have Kha Kee Moo (pork leg stew) and from an n=1 at Lers Ros, Thai House Express was better for that dish. For Pad Kee Mao, which is a popular dish at many Thai places, there probably isn't an order of magnitude in that dish available for a restaurant to be better that places that already do it well in SF. My comments specifically mentioned the quality of the cooking, so with that stated, the real draw of Lers Ros is that they do things well, and in general Chowhounders are going to be drawn to the dishes they simply can't get elsewhere.

                                                                1. re: P. Punko
                                                                  Robert Lauriston RE: P. Punko Apr 20, 2009 09:43 AM

                                                                  Yeah, I also prefer the pork leg stew at Thai House Express or Chai Thai (former THE cook, same food) to Lers Ros's.

                                                                  On the other hand, I've had a fair number of dishes at Thai House Express that weren't very good, e.g.:

                                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3202...

                                                                  So far, each of the ~15 dishes I've tried at Lers Ros has been good. I wouldn't order some of them again, but only because they're less interesting than others. The pork leg stew was the only dish that wasn't the best version I've had.

                                                          3. s
                                                            Sharon S. RE: Dave MP May 1, 2009 02:36 PM

                                                            I went yesterday for lunch with a party of 7 and it was for the most part delicious. I think their Pad Thai is the best I have ever had. We had a special - whole fried trout with sweet and sour sauce that actually had all these great vegetables in it and it was $15. The red curry vegetables was good and I also like the Green Papaya salad with the preserved egg. The total was quite reasonable too.

                                                            1. Robert Lauriston RE: Dave MP Jun 22, 2009 09:55 AM

                                                              Tried a new-to-me item from the specials board, "Shrimp Paste," $16, which is similar to the prahok dish at Angkor Borei. A bowl of intense sauce made of chiles, shrimp paste, and who knows what is accompanied by sliced raw cucumbers and cooked broccoli, cabbage, bamboo shoot, acacia omelet (same as in #110), and two fried mackerel. If you like spicy fermented-fish stuff, you'll love this.

                                                              Also tried #96, stir-fried prawns with sweet and sour sauce, because I walked past a table that had it and it smelled fabulous. The shrimp were perfectly cooked and the balance of flavors was very good but the pineapple and tomatoes were canned--polished it off with gusto but I'd order something else next time.

                                                              Also got #20, squid salad, great version of this classic. I'm not sure if it was $7.25 and the prawns were $8 or vice-versa.

                                                              Best Thai food in the area, and open till 1:30am daily. The place was fairly full when we walked in around 10pm and people kept coming in.

                                                              6 Replies
                                                              1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                                Robert Lauriston RE: Robert Lauriston Jun 22, 2009 10:17 AM

                                                                Looks like I forgot to post about the meal where I tried the pork liver special. It was a salad and I didn't think the liver worked so well cold, wouldn't order that again.

                                                                They had alligator on the specials board last night.

                                                                1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                                  Cynsa RE: Robert Lauriston Jun 22, 2009 03:33 PM

                                                                  was the alligator $18? —we were dining with friends who don't do heat... they were happy with the Thai sausage appetizer, the shrimp and asparagus... the yellow curry with chicken and potato... the fried trout — the silver noodle salad pleased me but was too HOT for their palates and I was the only one who enjoyed the chestnut dessert. I would like to taste the Shrimp Paste special!

                                                                  1. re: Cynsa
                                                                    Robert Lauriston RE: Cynsa Jun 22, 2009 03:56 PM

                                                                    The alligator was relatively pricey, $18 sounds right.

                                                                    1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                                      baron45 RE: Robert Lauriston Jun 23, 2009 09:42 AM

                                                                      The alligator has been on the Specials board for a long time. Haven't tried it though.

                                                                      My last trip there, I had the chopped frog and that tasted pretty good.

                                                                      1. re: baron45
                                                                        Robert Lauriston RE: baron45 Jun 23, 2009 09:46 AM

                                                                        Do you have any insight into the difference between "chopped" and "chunked" frog?

                                                                        1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                                          Cynsa RE: Robert Lauriston Jun 23, 2009 12:10 PM

                                                                          photo here of "chunk" version - Sunday/May 10
                                                                          http://www.bunrab.com/dailyfeed/2009M...

                                                              2. Robert Lauriston RE: Dave MP Jul 1, 2009 07:59 AM

                                                                Another report:

                                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/633029

                                                                1. DezzerSF RE: Dave MP Jul 3, 2009 08:45 AM

                                                                  We came back to find a packed house past 9pm last night (Thursday). I think Lers Ros is definitely on top of their game now, everything we had was excellent. We had:

                                                                  Som Tum with Raw Crab - They include the whole crab in their prep, unlike Ozone which only gives you small bits of crab. The salad dressing was perfectly balanced and pungent, so much better then our first time.

                                                                  Grilled pork shoulder - Really can't go here without ordering this. The sauce and pork slices are top notch.

                                                                  Pork Larb - Again, spot on seasoning and balance. The hit of toasted rice powder provides a nice texture against the acidic, salty sauce. Mint, scallions and red onions rounded it all off. This may be the best pork larb I've had.

                                                                  Steamed sea bass - Nicely steamed fish and tasty slices of cooked garlic. This was good, especially if you're looking for a healthy alternative to the fried trout. But I found myself missing the crispiness of the fried prep, as well as the excellent sauce served with.

                                                                  To finish it off, we had Pad See Ew and Pad Kee Mow which were both typical, but hit the spot. I think Thai noodles are growing on me.

                                                                  1. p
                                                                    PulledPork RE: Dave MP Jul 5, 2009 03:57 PM

                                                                    Thanks you, chowhounders for turning me on to Lers Ros. I was blown away with the #62 pork belly dish and the #103 beef dish with young black peppercorn.

                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                    1. re: PulledPork
                                                                      m
                                                                      mahaprana RE: PulledPork Jul 5, 2009 05:37 PM

                                                                      Ate at Lers Ros three times in the past week. Nice flavor balancing. Very tasty. #53, Kao Kha Moo, stewed pork leg over rice (with skin!) is a thing of beauty. Green papaya salad is made the traditional way, the papaya cut with a knife. Great balance of lime and sweet. Spice was lacking. Service is really friendly. The "Crystal Chestnut" dessert was bizarre, tasting like a mixture of freezer-burn and toast. Water chestnuts were a color that does not exist in nature!

                                                                      The only problem I'm having is that the heat-level is disappointing. The chef seem to be unwilling to believe that non-Thai's can eat Thai-level spice. Food maxes out at about a 3 on the 1 - 10 spice-meter. Even freshly made Pad Prik Khing was mild. Frustrating. Still, it is a great place, especially for people who want true Thai flavor but not Thai heat.

                                                                      1. re: mahaprana
                                                                        d
                                                                        dietndesire RE: mahaprana Jul 6, 2009 09:58 AM

                                                                        Does nobody tell them to spice it up?
                                                                        Pet pet or however it needs to be communicated.
                                                                        Curious if it is so mild after a very forward request or if this is just their standard prep.
                                                                        The latter would indicate the cause is not completely lost.

                                                                        1. re: dietndesire
                                                                          tvham RE: dietndesire Jul 6, 2009 10:16 AM

                                                                          I've had take out a couple of times since I work in the area and have found the dishes to be quite spicy - in fact a co-worker barely touched her lunch because she said it was too spicy for her to eat!

                                                                          1. re: tvham
                                                                            d
                                                                            dietndesire RE: tvham Jul 6, 2009 10:47 AM

                                                                            Well, then someone is mistaken to put it mildly.
                                                                            I doubt their typical preps vary so much.
                                                                            Did you ask for it spicy (also for R Lauriston)?
                                                                            Though some might chalk it up to varying opinions, I do not call it that.
                                                                            Allowances for incorrect assessments must be stopped at a point. Some variance is fine but ,otherwise, there is no point in any discussion since nothing can be trusted.
                                                                            Standards are good or do we care to go back to measuring using our thumbs, feet, etc.

                                                                            1. re: dietndesire
                                                                              DezzerSF RE: dietndesire Jul 6, 2009 12:22 PM

                                                                              We haven't been asked how spicy we wanted the food recently, but the food still has good heat for me. I remember one meal where my friend would not touch her Pad Kee Mao, and I ate it all without a blink. I'm sure if you asked, you could get it really spicy. They also give thai chilies on the side.

                                                                              1. re: dietndesire
                                                                                tvham RE: dietndesire Jul 6, 2009 01:09 PM

                                                                                I did not asked for it spicy, that's just how it came. I'm normally a medium spice person and this had a good kick to it.

                                                                          2. re: mahaprana
                                                                            Robert Lauriston RE: mahaprana Jul 6, 2009 10:20 AM

                                                                            The "shrimp paste" special I ordered a couple of weeks ago was plenty spicy.

                                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5924...

                                                                            1. re: mahaprana
                                                                              c
                                                                              cwujd1 RE: mahaprana Aug 7, 2009 12:56 AM

                                                                              This is surprising to me. I've had several salads there over the past few months. I think the base dressing they all come with is fairly spicy (i.e., their "mild"). I ordered it "medium" the first time and it was spicier than most Thai restaurants in SF ever get.. Agree on the pork let. Thing of beauty. The crispy pork belly is amazing too.

                                                                          3. jillyju RE: Dave MP Sep 15, 2009 01:23 PM

                                                                            Thanks to all the positive reports on the board, I finally had the opportunity to enjoy Lers Ros Thai last night. I loved our first dish, duck larb--Larb Phed Yang--what a great combination of both textures and flavors. The flavors were so bright and fresh, and it was spicy without overwhelming the other flavors. We also had the pork belly with cracklings and basil, which provided a really nice contrast. Again, a lovely combination of textures, from the sort of braised pork to the wonderfully crispy skin on many of the pieces. This had a more mellow flavor, without as much spice as the first dish, more umami I guess you could say. The weakest dish for me was a whole steamed sea bass with lime juice. It's appearance was spectacular--simply beautiful on the plate. However, I felt it was cooked just the smallest amount too much, and the lime broth was a bit one-dimensional. My dining companion felt that it delivered precisely what the menu described, and he really liked what he called the "directness" of the flavors. And the fact is, my husband consumed the leftover fish at home like it was the last food on earth, so it really might be a case of something just not being a personal favorite.

                                                                            I can't wait to go back, and I am totally grateful to those here who faithfully posted about their discovery.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: jillyju
                                                                              b
                                                                              badbatzmaru RE: jillyju Sep 15, 2009 08:35 PM

                                                                              I've been to Lers Ros multiple times and loved all the times I've been there. I have never cared too much for Thai House Express, Osha, etc. The other day, I think it was Labor Day, Lers Ros was closed; so we headed over to Sai Jai Thai around the corner (on Ofarrell, btwn Larkin Hyde). I've been to Sai Jai a few times too, and liked their Pork Neck. This time we ordered the pork neck, fried rice, and papaya salad. Everything was good and fresh--but the fried rice was exceptional; I think even better than Lers Ros. I don't recall what kind of fried rice it was, I think it was just a basic fried rice dish with beef and fried egg/scrambled hard eggs. The rice was done right, had great flavor, was not too soggy, or hard, just right. The beef was out of this world--It was quite flavorful, sweet in fact, and tasted a bit like very soft soft abet sweet beef jerky. I don't know how to describe it--its like they baked it, then quickly fried it in oil. I also like the fact they slice and dice a raw thai chili for you to mix up with the rice. Yummmmmmm

                                                                            2. m
                                                                              mdg RE: Dave MP Feb 26, 2010 08:03 AM

                                                                              Thanks for all the great information about Lers Ros. I had never had Thai in the Bay Area that could match Thai Nakorn in OC, but this may change things. On my first visit last night I had the #113 fried trout with mango sauce, as it seemed similar to one of my Thai Nakorn favorites. Turns out the basic idea is similar but lots of flavor differences (different fish, different balance of sweet / hot / and especially salty in the sauce) - equally good, just different. The menu had so many items I wanted to order, like the frog dishes, and then there were the venison and alligator specials. Repeated visits seem in order!

                                                                              Michael

                                                                              1. c
                                                                                christy319 RE: Dave MP May 11, 2010 08:24 PM

                                                                                Can anyone recommend noodle dishes that Lers Ros does well? I did try the Yum Woo Sen and it was good (not great).

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: christy319
                                                                                  Robert Lauriston RE: christy319 May 12, 2010 08:11 AM

                                                                                  I've enjoyed the #79 rad nah.

                                                                                2. b
                                                                                  bigwheel042 RE: Dave MP Dec 21, 2010 03:10 AM

                                                                                  Stopped in right at closing time tonight and had a midnight snack of the #32, soup with tofu and stuffed squid. This dish was OK but not stellar; the broth had a nice white pepper flavor to it but just wasn't all that interesting. Lots of napa cabbage and a little cloud ear mushroom but not much else in the vegetables department, and the squid tubes stuffed with pork were attractively presented but a bit rubbery. I'll chalk the flaws up to the late hour, but unless I wanted something mild to play off other, more strongly flavored dishes, I probably wouldn't be in any hurry to order this soup again.

                                                                                  1. Robert Lauriston RE: Dave MP Sep 16, 2013 02:13 PM

                                                                                    Had lunch at the original location.

                                                                                    Tried the moo pad khing ($12), pork with green beans with chile paste and lemongrass, very good though I would have liked the proportions reversed (is that pad prik khing?)

                                                                                    Pad Thai ($9), better than average but disappointingly short on dried shrimp and shrimp paste, won't order again.

                                                                                    Fish cakes ($9) and squid salad ($11) both excellent as on previous visits.

                                                                                    Prices are definitely up.

                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                                                      o
                                                                                      OliverB RE: Robert Lauriston Sep 16, 2013 02:53 PM

                                                                                      I eat at Lers Ros approx. once a week. It's still my favorite Thai food in the city. That said, I'm not a fan of their Pad Thai, which I've had twice, and find overly sweet.

                                                                                      My favorite dish is the stir-fried clams with sweet chili paste and basil leaves. The pad kra prow moo krob with garlic rice is my other "go to" along with the larb phed as a starter. I've tried just about every item on the menu and these are still my favorites.

                                                                                      1. re: OliverB
                                                                                        mariacarmen RE: OliverB Sep 17, 2013 09:21 AM

                                                                                        agree on their pad thai - for having so many wonderful dishes, this is not one of them.

                                                                                      2. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                                                        grayelf RE: Robert Lauriston Sep 17, 2013 10:08 PM

                                                                                        I think prik just means chile

                                                                                      3. Kurtis RE: Dave MP Oct 12, 2013 10:00 PM

                                                                                        How does this place compared to the best ones in NYC? While much is an ongoing debate most NYC hounds including myself favor Ayada, Zabb Elee, and Sripraphai as their favorites, and in this order for personally.

                                                                                        Show Hidden Posts