Chef Andy Ye and his staff of cooks at Banh Thai Restaurant believe their classic dishes deserve an exquisite flavor balance as well as artistic presentation. “Thai chefs focus on creating a blend of the spicy and subtle, the sweet and sour, so that all are equally satisfying to the nose and palate,” says one post on the restaurant’s Facebook page. Luckily, the seemingly endless list of traditional Thai ingredients these chefs have access to allows for ample opportunities to make that happen. Among their creations is a sauce flavored with curry spices that bestows rack of lamb with a bright yellow hue. Seafood isn’t excluded from their artful touch either, as green curry paste, basil, and string beans add pops of green to be soaked up by delicate sea bass. That blend of visual and tasty also extends to more than 30 vegetarian entrees and noodle dishes on the menu that come decorated with savory and sweet touches of eggplant, mango, and cashew.
Ginger, saffron, and other aromatic spices mingle in Hot Basil Cafe's kitchen, where chefs create dishes inspired by Indian and Thai cuisines. The kitchen maestros prepare Thai dishes such as cashew-nut chicken and spicy catfish, filling place settings alongside tiger prawns and cream pepper chicken baked in an Indian clay oven. They round out each meal with Thai-style iced coffee and indian fruit lassis, as well as wines and ice creams.
Rated Best Thai Restaurant by the East Bay Express in 2011, Chai Thai Noodle earns its title with a vast menu of authentically prepared dishes imbued with vibrant flavors and spices. Chai Thai Noodle's masterful and lively preparations have earned the chefs enthusiastic accolades and multiple high-fives from local press; their pork leg stew in particular inspired across-the board ardor. The San Francisco Chronicle's Carol Ness credited owners and chefs Sangchai Vatanachai and Amnouy Manyvong for making "'pork leg stew' three of the most exciting words in the language of Thai food." John Birdsall of the East Bay Express mentioned that it had to rate "among the most satisfying meat dishes in all of East Oakland," and SF Weekly’s Meredith Brody cited the stewed leg, accompanied by pickled vegetables and mustard greens, as her primary motive for dining at Chai Thai Noodle.
Chao Thai Cuisine’s modest exterior belies the bevy of delicious and authentic fare produced by its speedy kitchen staff. A three-page menu displays nearly 100 dishes including beef, chicken, seafood, and vegetarian entrees. House favorites, such as pineapple fried rice, pad thai, and green curries, can be enjoyed upon the eatery’s cozy collection of indoor mosaic tabletops or stashed away into a sturdy take-out container or a water-sealed top hat.
The chefs at Siam Bay Authentic Thai craft an extensive menu of Thai specialties, from fried tofu to garlic pork with steamed broccoli. Generous portions, served in classic blue-and-white china bowls can be shared with tablemates or kept to oneself by building a protective fence of chopsticks.
A mélange of savory aromas fills Chula Thai Cuisine's dining room, giving diners a preview of the menu's complexly seasoned entrees. In addition to simmering curries with aromatic blends of pumpkin, coconut milk, and basil leaves, the chefs forge platefuls of Thai-style barbecue, which FosterCityPatch called "the restaurant's crown jewel." The entrees trigger taste buds for each of the four basic flavors—bitterness, saltiness, sourness, and sweetness—but the chefs can also add dollops of chili sauce to create spicier, more intense dishes that can be used to refill mace canisters.