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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Kin Khao Serves Thai Food Like You've Never Experienced

Posted By on Tue, Mar 11, 2014 at 4:00 AM

  • Pete Kane

"Let's eat" is what Union Square Thai restaurant Kin Khao name translates into, and it really ought to have an exclamation point after it. As only the latest in a string of high-end or otherwise remarkable Thai and Thai-inflected restaurants opening lately, this 75-seat emporium of curries and noodles on the second floor of the Parc 55 Wyndham is well-positioned to become one of the best-known.

See also: Lers Ros Thai Comes to the Mission

Lao-Thai Maneelap-Srimongkoun Challenges Champion Palates, Jaded Spellers

The menu is full of hits, from salads onwards. The rice-flour-and-tapioca batter on the Yum Yai salad's asparagus and chrysanthemum tempura is truly exquisite, and the prawn "ceviche" with crispy catfish nailed every texture. Among curries, the green curry with rabbit was slightly salty but otherwise finely seasoned, the massaman with bone-in beef shank a perfect analogy to stew, but with marrow. Cocktails are witty but highly drinkable -- the Rasa Umami (Hidalgo Oloroso sherry, Black Grouse, a turmeric-lime cordial and white pepper) manages to hold its own against even the strongest flavors, while the Hua Hin Beach (Pampero dark run, coconut cream, lime and kaffir lime, and stout) comes in a camping mug with pebbled ice and all the accouterments of a punch at the Tonga Room.

  • Pete Kane

  • Pete Kane

Frequently, the peril of eating in a hotel restaurant -- even if it's not the hotel restaurant -- is tiny portions at room services prices. While dinner for two here might easily top $100, soup bowls are deep, chicken wings are mammoth, and rice is replenished frequently. For all but those who are already intimately familiar with Thai cuisine, to eat here is to learn something new. Someday, if Americans come to understand how "Thai," like "Italian," actually encompasses several vastly different culinary traditions of a diverse country, it will because of restaurants like Kin Khao.

Kin Khao, inside the Parc 55 Wyndham Hotel, 55 Cyril Magnin St., 362-7466.

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About The Author

Pete Kane

Pete Kane

Pete Kane is a total gaylord who is trying to get to every national park before age 40

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