Our weekly bite explores the city's food trucks, one at a time, highlighting our favorite mobile dishes and snacks.
The Truck: Phat Thai
The Cuisine: Thai Cuisine
Specialty Items: Pad Thai
Worth the Wait in Line? Definitely
A big serving of stir-fried noodles is classic street fare, but it's something we usually experience inside a restaurant rather than outdoors. Setting out to change that is Phat Thai, the truck from the family that formerly ran Rama Thai on 2nd and Geary almost a decade ago. The experience served them well and shows in the fantastic Pad Thai ($8, stir-fried rice noodles, homemade pad thai sauce, tofu, egg, bean sprouts, green onion, cilantro, choice of chicken, beef, prawns (+$2), or vegetarian).
Rather than a showing up as an overly sweet, clumpy mess of noodles, Phat Thai makes their version taste vibrant, with a homemade sauce that strikes a balance of sweet, tangy, pungent, and bright. The generous portion of springy noodles also manages to stay separate, rather than become one big pad thai dreadlock. With crisp vegetables that add a nice contrast, juicy and flavorful meats, it's a big step up from your standard place. I can't vouch for how traditional it is, but it is fast, satisfying, and fresh.
Because half the fun of Thai noodles is dressing them up with spice, Phat Thai also has a spice bar, with heat levels ranging from one (Siracha) to four (really spicy chilies in lime juice and fish sauce). If you're a spice wimp or like to go thermonuclear on your food, the spice bar is a nice touch.