House - Mission Thai Restaurant
Walked by House this morning, the unpromising looking "Thai Fusion" place on Valencia between 16th and 17th and saw a sign indicating that it's actually the long-promised Mission branch of Thai House Express. Grand opening is 11/11/11. Would love to hear reports.
Thai House Express
901 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94109
Husband and I went last night. It was somewhat disappointing. Decor is hilariously overdesigned (this wasn't a problem, just an observation) and there were tons of waitstaff, one of whom offered to hold our baby while we ate. Not kidding. Now that's service.
Foodwise, this is better than any Thai food we're currently able to get in our neighborhood, but falls short of the THE on Larkin (and even behind the Castro branch). Much smaller menu. We got a bunch of our THE faves. They definitely lacked the spicy and tangy kick that we crave. Not sure if things are being dumbed down to compete with nearby Another Monkey and Osha or if we just need to be more insistent about liking things spicy. Everything is also somewhat spendier than the other two branches, maybe by a few dollars an entree. I don't mind paying a premium (I'm sure rent on Valencia costs more than the heart of the Tenderloin), what I wish is that they weren't afraid to keep things real on the food front. We were there on the second day of business (I quizzed our waiter who said lunch service may follow in a couple of weeks, but he was very vague), so it's possible things will even out.
Also, I want to make it clear that the food was fine. Just a little disappointing given that THE is one of our fave Thai restaurants in SF. We got Thai Beef Jerky with a side of cucumber salad, chicken larb (dressing needed a *lot* more lime and chili, this was confusingly bland whereas in Thailand larb is one of the zingiest, most exciting and nuanced dishes you can order), pork pad kee mow (decent flavor but wetter than the Larkin version), and green curry (also decent but not great, overly creamy and no fresh herbal hit).
Anyway, I very much want to see this restaurant succeed. And I will certainly be eating there regardless. My husband is already planning future takeout orders of the pad kee mow, but my husband regularly orders from Al Hamra now, so take that with a grain of salt.
280 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA