680 Valencia Street St., 415-400-5699
James Syhabout’s original Hawker Fare restaurant in Oakland is a small and humble space that turns out big room food. It was once the site of his mother’s Thai restaurant, and now he’s got a cavernous new showcase for his cooking on Valencia. The multilevel space could easily swallow any concept up, but Syhabout rose to the challenge with a colorful Thai teen idol decor that instantly transports you from the well-heeled grime outside. Even more so than the OG spot, this latest Hawker Fare provides an upfront side of the cuisine never seen in the glut of pad Thai forward cheap eats restaurants that dominate the city.