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great pad see ew - [Chabaa Thai]

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Our original destination, Katana-ya, was packed with a line out the door, so we ended up walking into Chabaa thai restaurant next door. I'd read the posts/sfweekly article about their pork neck, but the waitress said this smaller downtown location has a more limited menu and no pork neck. Still, the gai gra prow was just as good as at Thai House Express, and their pad see ew was excellent. Not too greasy (although this dish is far from being oil free), perfect chewy texture, and good wok char. Probably the best version I've had at any bay area Thai restaurant, and goes great with the vinegared serrano chilis offered as part of the condiment selection.

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Thai House Express
901 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94109

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  1. Coincidentally I walked by Chabaa Thai a few days before this report on the way to Thai House Express and wondered if the Irving street restaurant had taken over this former King of Thai branch. I'm glad to hear it's good, as I'm more likely to stop in at this location than Irving.

    What else have folks sampled here?

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    Chabaa Thai
    420 Geary St, San Francisco, CA 94102

    5 Replies
    1. re: Melanie Wong

      So wish this post had taken root in my brain before our recent trip. This is only 4 blks from our hotel! Thanks so much for posting on this -- I will be taking notes for the spring on other reccos here.

      1. re: grayelf

        I had the gai ga prow at Thai House Express that evening. If felice believes that Chabaa's is as good, then it's very good indeed.

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        Thai House Express
        901 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94109

      2. re: Melanie Wong

        I tried the tom yum noodle soup a few weeks back. I usually like my tom yum less sweet than this version was but this could have still been an authentic representation. For now my go-to in Union Square is still Bangkok Noodles on Powell, but I'm open to trying other stuff at Chabaa.

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        Bangkok Noodles
        110 Powell St, San Francisco, CA 94102

        1. re: Melanie Wong

          I really liked the Pad See Ew there too. We also had the Penang curry and the crab fried rice. All excellent. Portions are quite generous.

        2. Ooooh, crab fried rice. I'll have to try that next time. As for tom yum noodle, I find that restaurants can serve perfectly spicy/sour tom yum soup, but when you order the tom yum noodle, the broth is too sweet. I'm not sure if it's because they expect you to add a ton of chili or vinegar to balance out the sugar (as a standard condiment for noodle soup), but I tend to avoid ordering this dish at most places.

          1 Reply
          1. re: felice

            I've noticed this also. I wonder if it is traditional to make the version with noodles sweeter or if there is some other reason for it. It almost tastes like they are mixing the tom yum stock with the sweeter stock that these joints typically serve with yen-ta-fo noodle soups.