HOME > Chowhound > San Diego >
What have you made lately? Get great advice

Authentic Thai Food in San Diego

SDGourmand Jun 2, 2010 07:17 PM

Does anyone know of any authentic thai restaurants anywhere around san diego? I'm looking for very traditional not americanized. Can anyone help me out?

  1. s
    steveprez Jun 20, 2010 07:10 AM

    Yesterday my wife was jonesing for Thai food and I suggested we go to Sab-E-Lee as it seems to be a favorite on this board. The place is in a nondescript strip mall in Linda Vista. The restaurant is also nondescript having just a half dozen tables in an small room. That said, the place serves delicious Thai food. The Panang curry was one of the best I've ever had. The duck larb was also very good. The pad thai was good as well.

    Authentic? Hard to say. I've never had Thai food outside of Thailand that was the same. Some ingredients, I suspect, just aren't available. That said, Sab-E-Lee was about as close as I've seen to the food I've eaten in Thailand.

    1. j
      J M S Jun 4, 2010 07:29 PM

      Spice and Rice

      1 Reply
      1. re: J M S
        daantaat Jun 4, 2010 08:37 PM

        Spice and Rice is painfully Americanized.

      2. honkman Jun 3, 2010 09:57 AM

        I know you post quite a lot on the Vegas board and so I don't know if you go reguarly to Lotus of Siam in LV. Sab-E-Lee is the most authentic Thai food in SD but I found it not so great compared to Lotus of Siam.

        2 Replies
        1. re: honkman
          deeznuts Jun 4, 2010 11:19 AM

          Funny, I went to Lotus of Siam but didn't find it all that exciting, and yes, I scoured their boards for the most authentic dishes and ordered them. Underwhelming but decent is what I would label it. Have not tried Sab-E-Lee.

          Sang Dao is delicious though. It's my buddie's aunt's place so he always brings it over. But he is always bringing over the laotian dishes but then again, for some dishes you can't tell.

          Sang Dao Restaurant
          5421 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92115

          1. re: honkman
            Ed Dibble Jun 5, 2010 01:08 PM

            I can't speak to authenticity - though SEL seems pretty good and not dumbed down. I also love LOS, but I have had a couple of dishes there over the years that were less than stellar. For me, the item that gives the nod to LOS is the wonderful selection of German rieslings and the staff's remarkable ability to pair wines with foods. Nothing like that at SEL.

            But returning to the OP's question, I can't imagine someone not appreciating the flavors and spices at Sab E Lee. Head & shoulders & most of a torso above any other Thai I've eaten in SD.

          2. m
            mliew Jun 3, 2010 09:45 AM

            Also worth mentioning is Sang Dao in El Cajon. Great authentic Thai and Lao style dishes.

            Sang Dao Restaurant
            5421 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92115

            1. e
              Ewilensky Jun 2, 2010 07:20 PM

              Search for "Sab-E-Lee" - board darling and as authentic as it gets.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Ewilensky
                SDGourmand Jun 2, 2010 09:09 PM

                thanks didn't realize sab e lee was thai. Should have done a quick search instead of being lazy.

                1. re: Ewilensky
                  karaethon Jun 4, 2010 09:41 AM

                  The location in Linda Vista is mainly northern Thai, but the Santee location has more Royal Thai dishes.

                  Personally I prefer the Santee location, but it's hard to drive out there

                Show Hidden Posts