Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Five Best Thai Restaurants in San Francisco

Posted By on Thu, Oct 13, 2011 at 3:19 PM

Chabaa's gaeng som, or sour orange curry. - MARIANNE1123/FLICKR
  • Marianne1123/Flickr
  • Chabaa's gaeng som, or sour orange curry.

Thai restaurants began popping up all over San Francisco in the 1980s, and within a decade, Thai food had become a staple for first dates and Thursday-night takeouts. San Franciscan children eat almost as much pad Thai as they do organic baby carrots, and Thai restaurateurs have learned how to adapt their food to American tastes: sweeter, gentler, far lighter on the fish sauce and shrimp paste. But a few Thai restaurants are putting out gutsier, more nuanced fare, and exploring far beyond favorite American menu items like prik king and pad see euw.

Here are SFoodie's five favorite Thai restaurants in town:

Marnee's famous corn cakes. - MARIANNE1123/FLICKR

5. Marnee Thai

Two locations: Irving and 23rd Ave., and Ninth Ave. and Lincoln.

The original, Irving Street location of Marnee Thai dates back to San Francisco's initial fascination with the cuisine, and American tastes have reshaped many of its dishes. But the basa with chili garlic sauce, the prawn and scallop yellow curry, and the hor mok (a steamed seafood custard, served on weekends) remain charismatically aromatic. The real draw of the cramped original location, whose walls are covered over in woven panels, is co-owner May Siriyarn, whose husband Chai is the chef. May is a sharp, boistress hostess who will boss you into ordering better than you'd planned. Get to know her well enough, and you may get a psychic reading with your sticky rice and mango.

  • Pin It

Tags: ,

About The Author

Jonathan Kauffman


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"