Lime Tree Southeast Asian Kitchen, a perennial favorite in the Sunset, has opened a second location on Clement Street and it is a must for anyone who's ever in the mood for a slightly different take on more familiar Asian cuisines (Malaysian, in this case). Better still, they're open from 9 a.m. for breakfast, if savory rice and noodle dishes are something you'd be into first thing in the morning.
Somehow, everything we ordered came in the "wrong" order (that is to say, just as we ordered it, but in descending levels of sweetness). A plate of martabak (crispy roti with minced meat, green onion and eggs) was hot and delicious, like a Jamaican beef patty shot through with coconut milk. Sambal okra and green beans were beautifully presented and cooked exactly so, although I wished we'd requested more sambal (a Sriracha-esque sauce). Char kway teow (flat rice noodle stir-fried with shrimp, Chinese sausage and eggs) was as close to pure comfort food as it gets, and pleasantly heterogeneous between the nice seasoned bits and kielbasa-like sausage. Bargain hunters might do better looking elsewhere for a lunch special, but $30, tip included, sufficed to feed two with food left over.
It's a mostly-cute but also clashing interior, painted two-toned sage but with black-and-white gingham tablecloths and neon pillows on a bench along one wall. A dining companion bemoaned the fact that the prices -- particularly in the vegetarian column -- are a dollar or two above most comparable Thai restaurants, and wished the entire space looked a bit more upscale. Because the food at Lime Tree #2 is pretty terrific.
Lime Tree Southeast Asian Kitchen, 836 Clement St., (415) 831-1415.