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Apr 27, 2012 03:17 PM

Thai / Korean in or near Mountain View?

Coming from NYC, I used to eat Thai and Korean bbq regularly. But now, I rarely get either. I live near Castro and have been to the Thai place and Korean BBQ place (Ginseng?) on Castro. Both were tremendously mediocre. Is there anywhere nearby that is worthy of trying for dinner tonight? Any suggestions greatly appreciated.

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  1. I've only been to the Seoul Gomtang in Oakland, but I've heard that the one in Santa Clara is equally good. Some other recommendations:

    1. I have not yet tried this place, but my co-worker recommended it today -- we will try it soon. If you are feeling adventurous, here is a new place, between Shoreline and El Monte:
      Tommy Thai Express
      1482 W El Camino Real, Mountain View, CA 94040
      (650) 988-6857

      Please report if you do try it -- we are going back for a final party at Cafe Yulong tonight.

      3 Replies
        1. re: anyhow

          I had lunch with my family at Tommy Thai and we liked their preparations of salads, noodles, and fish cake (appetizer). Super friendly and helpful service and the chef gave small dishes of sauces for us to try. We sampled only a fraction of the menu and will be happy to return soon for more choices.

          1. re: anyhow

            I have Tommy Thai marked to try. I'll give it a shot. We actually ended up at Yulong last night. They were winding down what they were serving so a lot of my regular items were not available, including the shrimp dumplings and tea smoked duck, both of which i enjoy. I'm not as big a fan of their fish dumplings - while the wrapper is excellent, the fish is more of a paste, than actually chunks of fish. However, we did try some dishes we normally wouldn't order, including some "Americanized" dishes like orange peel chicken. What a revelation it was! Nice chunks of tender breast (coming from someone who usually prefers thigh meat) coated in a light coating with an appropriately gooey, sweet and spicy sauce. The frying was perfect also, as it wasn't too oily but remained crispy throughout. I never knew how could this could be and regret this will be my only shot.

            On a separate note, it was sort of sad being there last night. There was definitely an air of sadness amongst the staff, who are such good people and have always treated us well. Also, it was weird (and I could have misunderstood), but when I asked where the chef was, they said he was retiring and they didn't even know where he was anymore... Odd. And very sad. I will miss this place greatly.

          2. Tofu house in Palo Alto is decent. Shana Thai (Mountain View) and Lotus Thai (Palo Alto are OK).

            There is awesome Korean further south in Santa Clara.

            3 Replies
            1. re: goldangl95

              I will second Tofu House and Shana Thai. Maybe I will give Lotus Thai a try next!

              1. re: LabLady

                Lotus Thai is uneven. Sometimes they hit it out of the park, sometimes they don't. One problem is they don't have a consistent level for their spiciness. Sometimes, the "hot" is yumm -y spicy, sometimes there are so many chilis that I literally cannot put it in my mouth. So "your mileage may vary,"

              2. re: goldangl95

                I wanted to add Rama V in Sunnyvale to this Thai list. Flavorful and solid. Their spicy levels are legitimate. We eat very spicy food and usually pick medium over spicy. Good service too. Their menu is somewhat standard but it's a big improvement from Amarin or Shana.

              3. From everything I've heard, I'm not sure there is any Thai in the South Bay to compare with SF's best. Maybe the Thai population's just not large enough.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  This is correct. The only decently authentic Thai in close proximity to the Sourh Bay is what they cook at that Buddhist temple in Fremont on Sundays.

                  1. re: mikeh

                    Blue Mango in San Jose is the #1 choice of my son who has lived in Thailand for many years. When he and his Thai-born wife visited, they decided that Blue Mango was the most authentic and familiar of all the Thai restaurants they sampled, from San Diego to Seattle.
                    Blue Mango:
                    635 Coleman Ave
                    San Jose, CA 95110

                    1. re: anyhow

                      The menu's pretty Americanized. Do they get off-menu dishes?

                  2. re: Robert Lauriston

                    Indeed, there's no Thai restaurant down here remotely as good as Lers Ros in San Francisco. Tommy Thai's looks a lot like Thaibodia in San Jose, which was not good. But it's nearby so I might give it a try anyway.

                    The best I've found in the area is Thai Spoons in Sunnyvale ( The pad kee mao is especially good there. It's a small strip mall storefront with no alcohol, but it's tasty.

                    There's a new Sudam Korean restaurant in Los Altos, which is closer to Mountain View than the alternatives listed, but I haven't tried it yet. Santa Clara is definitely the hotbed for Korean food in this area.


                  3. Ginsing is mediocre. Totoro is aweful. Tofu House, on the very south end of PA, is plausible but the decor is terrible and I can't get cell service there.

                    Shana is average at best. Thai Spoons (one block off castro) I've never been to. Krung Thai is mediocre - but I thought it closed. I would not call Amerin mediocre - I would call it non-exceptional, especially compared to what you're used to in NYC, but it's a regular for us.

                    What you're going to have to do is suck it up and eat a lot more Chinese, Indian, Mexican, and Japanese.

                    And drive to Sunnyvale for Korean. Jang su Jang might be a good place to start - but be warned, it's not BBQ. I haven't seen a good, broad overview of South Bay korean - I have trouble with my forays because my GF says it's way too much food, which it is.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: bbulkow

                      Thai Spoons is in Sunnyvale on El Camino just east of Mary, so it's not that close to Castro. It's not a destination - nothing Thai in South Bay is - but the best one that's close to me.


                      1. re: mdg

                        BANGKOK Spoon is what I was thinking of. One block off castro.