On Tuesday I was so so so excited to start on my “field research” for this blog. It seemed the perfect day to start because I had plans to go to the pub quiz at the Edinburgh Castle, which is something I used to do every week a year or two ago but now is a pretty rare treat. Going to the Castle quiz means picking up food to eat before the quiz starts (you have to go early to get a good table), and I have a number of regular take out spots, but I figured with this new venture I could pick a new spot. Well, things don’t always work out the way you plan, and as Steve and I meandered down the hill to the bar at about a quarter to six, we realized we weren’t really hungry. So we decided to postpone ordering dinner until after happy hour; I figured I’d get peckish after I had a few beers in me. It turns out that (at least for me) this was an exceptionally bad plan, which is something I probably could have guessed as I have an unhappy history with drinking on an empty stomach. The gist is that I ended up drunkenly calling in a pickup order to Thai House Express. Not that there’s anything wrong with Thai House Express, it’s just that I’ve eaten there probably a dozen or more times, always taking the food out and eating it at the Edinburgh Castle. Although it wasn’t the new exciting experience I’d been envisioning, it was still pretty satisfying. I ordered one of my favorites, number 101, also known as Kao Rad Na Pak. It’s sauteed tofu with vegetables in gravy and I know that sounds boring but even in my drunken state I was aware that Thai House Express does something special with this simple dish. The straw mushrooms are huge and obviously fresh instead of canned, the baby carrots are super sweet and crunchy. The gravy is light and not too sweet (at other Thai places gravies are often gloopy and sugary) and the rice (which you can opt out of if you are crazy) is so light and fluffy. It’s good stuff. Steve ordered the barbequed marinated chicken (gai yang, number 78) without rice so he basically just got a giant pile of chicken. It smelled pretty good, but I didn’t try any of it. Because I was drunk. Did I mention that? I hope I’m not destroying my credibility. The prices at THE are pretty reasonable, I’d call them average for a Thai restaurant in San Francisco. The people who work there are super nice and the food is fresh and good. It looks like a nice place to eat in, which I hope I’ll do someday because I’d like to try their soups. Soup is my favorite food and Thai soups are my favorite soups, but soup is awkward to take out and eat at a bar. I would warn you though that if you eat in and you decide during your meal to look out the window you will probably see homeless people. Probably lots of homeless people. THE is right on the corner of Larkin and Geary and a lot of people of the unsavory variety have made that corner their home away from home. I would say the scary factor at THE is pretty low, it’s on the edge of the TL so there are still lots of normals around. The vagrants are there, but they save the scary stuff for a few blocks to the southeast.
So, to sum up; very good food, not scary location, reasonable prices.
Thai House Express
901 Larkin St