Tuesday, March 06, 2007
This Week's Restaurant Review: Little Thai in SF
San Francisco has more Thai restaurants than anywhere this side of Thailand. This town is well-known for its Thai, which is a good thing, because last time I looked flights to Thailand aren’t cheap. There are even a large number of specialty Thai places in SF, including a very pricey formal Thai spot called “Suit and Thai”; the famous fusion Australian/Thai restaurant called “Thai Me Kangaroo Down,” and then, of course, there’s the Thai joint where the meals come with all-you-can-drink beer and wine, “Thai One On.” All kidding aside, we have a Chinatown, a Japan town and a Little Italy, all very popular, and the one reason there’s no Thai-town is because all of the Thai restaurants here are pretty spread out. One of the best Thai eateries anywhere is on Broadway and Polk in SF and it’s called Little Thai. Little Thai features great service, huge portions that are reasonably priced, and an extensive menu of wonderful soups, appetizers and entrees. It’s a fairly small place with a balcony and it’s hopping all the time. One thing about San Franciscans, they know good food and will flock consistently to places like Little Thai. The other night we were there and we had three entrees, an appetizer and some soup and the total bill was $35. Where else can you get a great meal like that in this city? We started off the meal with a Po Tak Soup ($8.95), a seafood soup with lemon grass and lemon juice. It was chock full of scallops, shrimp, squid and fish. One great thing about Little Thai is that they don’t skimp on the goodies. I hate it at some places when you order a soup like this and it’s 80% broth. Every soup at Little Thai is thick with meat, seafood and/or poultry. You’ll never feel like you’ve been cheated on portions or quality. For an appetizer, we love the Shrimp and Ground Pork Toast ($7.95). They deep-fry the toast topped with this amazing paste, yet it’s not greasy or overly rich. For entrees, Thai into some Little Thai Curry, which includes things like Kaeng Pad ($8.50), a boneless roast duck in red curry paste with tomatoes, pineapple and basil; the Panting Near ($7.95), which is sliced beef with hot curry paste, lemon leaves and basil, or the Green Curry ($7.95 with chicken/$8.50 with shrimp), an amazing concoction with eggplant and snow peas. Other items on the Little Thai menu of note are the Roast Duck ($7.95), the Near Pad Prig ($7.50), which is sautéed beef with chili, ginger and onions; the Plan Much Pad ($7.50), sautéed squid with hot chili pepper and bamboo shoots; and the Remit Moor Din ($10.95), an absolutely incredible seafood combination stew served in a clay pot. Wow! Little Thai has a ton of regulars and after you’ve been there one time, you’ll know why. Located at 2065 Polk Street, Little Thai’s phone number is: (415) 771-5544. You can also order food for delivery if you live close enough to the place. Try Little Thai and you’ll never go to another Thai place again if you can help it. It’s just like going to Thailand without having to pay for the flight or going through customs.