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Friday, March 5, 2010

SFoodie's 92: Green Papaya Salad from Green Papaya Deli

Posted By on Fri, Mar 5, 2010 at 3:29 PM

Go full throttle with the chiles, and you'll need more than water to stop the burn. - RUDY R./YELP
  • Rudy R./Yelp
  • Go full throttle with the chiles, and you'll need more than water to stop the burn.
As a daily windup to the Weekly's Best of S.F. 2010 on May 19, we've teased out 92 of our favorite local dishes that taste like here. All the tasty details after the jump.

Number 52: Green Papaya Salad from Green Papaya Deli

We have loved a lot of food over the past year ― porchetta, stewed octopus, braised goat, and duck sausages, for starters ― but few of the richest, loveliest proteins we've ingested can truly even begin to compete with the humble, positively molten papaya salad made by Lily and Ken Senephansiri at Green Papaya Deli, their family's fantastic Lao restaurant in East Oakland's diverse San Antonio neighborhood. We have written about this restaurant before. We first discovered it on the trail of a story about Lao food in Oakland for one of the area's daily newspapers, but even after that piece died a swift, painless death at the hands of a dreaded food section budget squeeze, we kept the papaya salad close to our hearts: so close we felt like a glowing orange poker had speared our chest.

As flavorful, sweet, and heady as each slurp tastes, the heat is probably the first thing you notice about Green Papaya's version. Thankfully, Ken and Lily add peppers ― gnarly little blue-green ones, just a few at a time, in line with your expressed tastes, with no intention of overpowering the chile-challenged. A salad with seven will hurt; one with a dozen will sting; ask for 20 and you'll need more than a wad of sticky rice ― a taxi home, some gelato, and an ice bath.

Green Papaya Deli 2017 International (at Second Ave.), Oakland, (510) 836-5337

Craving more? Check out these previous links to our countdown:

No. 92: Cracked Half Dungeness from Swan Oyster Depot

No. 91: Pastrami Sandwich from Orson

No. 90: Coconut Bun from Out the Door on Bush

No. 89: Brown Sugar-Black Pepper Biscuits from Little Skillet

No. 87: Indian Pizza from Zante

No. 86: Tamales from All-Star

No. 85: Chilaquiles from Nopalito

No. 84: Poc Chuc from Poc-Chuc

No. 83: Chocolate Beignet from Arlequin Cafe

No. 82: Scallop Crêpe from Ti Couz

No. 81: Gin and Tonic from Pizzaiolo/Boot and Shoe Service

No. 80: Quesadilla from Rico Pan

No. 79: Turkey Kati Rolls from Kasa

No. 78: Emperor's Pancake from Suppenküche

No. 77: Lasagna from Zuppa

No. 76: Chicharrones from 4505 Meats

No. 75: Langka Ice Cream from Mitchell's

No. 74: Bacon Potato Chips from Who's Your Daddy

No. 73: Lamb Dumplings from Kingdom of Dumpling

No. 72: Chile-Braised Carnitas Sandwich from Bento 415

No. 71: Chili from Mission Burger

No. 70: Croissants from La Farine

No. 69: Xiu Mai Banh Mi from Saigon Sandwich

No. 68: Creme Brulee from Sweet.

No. 67: Limon Cebiche from Limon

No. 66: Chicken and Waffles from Brown Sugar Kitchen

No. 65: Brioche Bread Pudding from Tartine Bakery

No. 64: Turkish Salad from Old Jerusalem

No. 63: Ribs from Bruno's

No. 62: Prupisceddu in Umidu (Stewed Octopus) from La Ciccia

No. 61: Hot and Spicy Beef Jerky from Marin Sun Farms

No. 60: Pozole from Chilango

No. 59: Lobster Roll from Sam's ChowderMobile

No. 58: Dry-Fried Chicken Wings from San Tung

No. 57: John Campbell's Scones from Lovejoy's Tea Room

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