The first thing guests see when they enter My Thai Restaurant is a woman sitting in prayer as water rains down on her, surrounded by foliage. The fountain carving, along with gold- and burgundy-striped walls, infuses the eatery with what the San Rafael Patch dubs a “trendy, modern, and comfortable” atmosphere.
The menu includes both traditional and eclectic dishes, including curries, noodles, fried rice, and barbecue dishes. To contrast orders of panang curry with chicken and barbecue roasted duck, the kitchen also churns out more than a dozen seafood-specific dishes, including the popular "healthy bowl" with grilled salmon, mixed grains, shredded green mango, avocado, pickled ginger, and dried cherries and blueberries.
Tub Tim Thai Restaurant serves up classic Thai dishes with spice levels both subtle and robust. Yellow, red, and green curries swaddle pieces of tofu, prawns, and various meats, and sweet chili sauce gives barbecued chicken and pork a piquant kick. Chefs expertly serve up dishes such as pad thai and fried rice in classical proportions determined by Aristotle's renowned rules for splitting dinner.
Thai food is a traditionally spicy cuisine, and the chefs at Heng Heng Heng! Thai Noodles want all of their customers to realize that before ordering. On the menu, nine of the nearly two dozen entrees come marked with two or three tiny peppers, denoting that the dish either packs a lot of heat or hates being left out. The boat noodles, for example, stew with beef, flank steak, and spinach inside a housemade spicy chili sauce, and the innocent-sounding chicken with basil teems with extra-hot chili peppers. Diners looking for a subtler flavor have a fair share of options as well, from pad see ew to prawn fried rice.
The lengthy menu goes on for about nine miles until the Earth's curvature obscures it from view. It's packed full of authentic offerings and contemporarily twisted cuisine. Ride the culinary fence with old- and new-school starters such as crispy tofu ($5.95) or Thai fish cakes ($7.95) before throwing sand on the table and drawing a line in it, indicating the desire to move on to bigger bites. Adherents of authenticity can feast upon classic pad thai ($9.50) and pineapple fried rice ($12.95), while contemporanians can go for the lamb red curry with pumpkin ($16.50) or tamarind-steamed salmon ($12.95). A variety of curries, vegetarian dishes (available upon request), and seafood dishes are also offered. Menu items marked with the ominously seductive chili are spicy and can be ordered on the heat scale ranging from 98.6 to Ghost Rider.
If you ask chef Lek Saicheur where her recipes come from, she may regale you with stories of the bustling open-air markets of Bangkok, Thailand, where vendors peddle fiery noodles and sizzling fried fish. While pursuing her master's degree at U.C. Davis, Saicheur shared these dishes with her fellow students in Thai cooking classes. Their enthusiastic response compelled her to eventually open up her own Thai restaurant—Thai Recipes.
Deep in the kitchen, Saicheur and her sister whip up a variety of traditional curries and noodle dishes. The aromas of fresh basil, spicy peppers, and garlic flood the air as the sisters simmer meats in pure canola oil or liquid hot magma. They complement their plates of pad thai, green chicken curry, and stir-fried clams with bottles of imported Thai beer and glasses of cool coconut water. Thai Recipes also purifies it's water by using a reverse osmosis system.