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Dec 29, 2009 10:46 PM

Lers Ros vs. Sai Jai Thai vs. Thai House Express?

I'm on a Thai kick and have been pondering the above question. I've heard great things about all three of these Tenderloin restaurants. Chowhounders, do you have a preference? And how are they different? I'd love to know. Thanks!

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  1. They are all worth a try, especially if you are on a Thai food jag anyway - it would not be expensive to hit all three. Lers Ros has the largest menu so the focus tends to be slightly less on noodle dishes than at Thai House Express - they are a greater proportion of the menu at THE.

    Sai Jai is run by Northern Thai people, I think, so I would probably go there specifically for dishes from that region.

    1. This is completely unscientific, but I've noticed that I hit Sai Jai for curries, Thai House for noodle dishes, and Lers Ros for less run of the mill entrees.

      Of course, all three are great, that's just a habit I've noticed that I've developed over the years.

      1. Lers Ros is in a class by itself. Lots of dishes no one else makes and the cooking is more precise and subtle than I've had at any other Thai restaurant.

        1. Fascinating. I am hitting up Lers Ros tonight, so I will have to report back!

          2 Replies
          1. re: t.susannah.chen

            Be sure to do a search on the board for posts of favorite dishes (some conveniently referenced by item number from the menu)--mine include Pad Kra Prow Moo Krob (stir-fried pork with crispy rind and basil leaves---the rind is exquisite, perfect amount of heat), #4 Thai herb sausage, fried whole trout. Their dipping sauces are great, each distinctive.

            1. re: dordogne

              Is that like the Thai Sausage you get up near Chang Mai, they sell it at the market like a coil of rope? It's got kind of a sour tang, super juicy, crispy skin?

          2. So went tonight, and ordered the Pad Thai, #59 Pla Duk Pad Phed thai style stir-fried catfish with house made chili paste and young peppercorns, and the #62 Pad Kra Prow Moo Krob stir-fried pork with crispy rind and basil leaves. I really wanted to like this place, after hearing everything that everyone has said about it. The peppercorns were definitely intriguing, but we regretted ordering the catfish, which they said comes with one large bone, because I almost choked on a few of the tiny bones, as I wasn't expecting them. The pork belly dish was pretty delicious, but it came wallowing in a sizzling pool of oil (clearly lard, not vegetable oil). The pad Thai was decent but not mind-blowing.

            We ordered the dishes a la carte, rather than with rice (since we had ordered noodles) but they brought it out anyway, insisting that the a la carte did in fact come with rice, albeit served separately. Only when we pressed further did they admit that rice is an extra charge. I was so turned off by this that I told them I didn't want the rice — but later regretted it as everything was too rich and salty without something plain to wash it down.

            I think the most disappointing element was the service. I was practically screaming for their attention to get water, and they'd fill it up halfway. Same with napkins, and they'd bring back different, "cheaper" napkins unlike the ones we had. It seemed they were really rationing everything. The most frustrating part was that they started taking our plates without asking, before we were actually through eating. That was unpleasant.

            All in all, it wasn't a bad experience, but it disappointed my high expectations. But I think everything deserves a few chances, and I think I know what to do differently next time, so I do plan to go back again and order a few different things -- maybe the sausage, like dordogne mentioned, the whole fishes, or perhaps something more experimental (pork entrails? boar?). We'll just have to see.

            3 Replies
            1. re: t.susannah.chen

              Too bad about the service. I've never had problems getting attention there since they seem to always have several young women watching over the place trying to keep things moving along. I've found it a little overbearing sometimes.

              I would suggest the long-stewed pork leg next time. The salads are great but to me they're very spicy.

              1. re: t.susannah.chen

                Which of the three restaurants are you reporting on?

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  Her review's menu numbers are consistent with the Lers Ros menu on