Adorned with a Gold Medallion Award from the California Restaurant Association, Taste of Thai walks culinary tight ropes of authentic, bold flavors within its minimally designed dining rooms. A meal inside the bamboo-bathed Hillcrest dining room begins with the Shrimp Sarong, an unwearable plate of bulbous shrimp, marinated and nestled in egg noodles, deep fried, and accessorized with palm sauce ($7.95). Hunger-havers can salivate over a cornucopia of thai rice and noodle dishes ($8.95–$12.95), each accented by a choice of tofu, meat, or seafood. Three's Company, a house specialty, tosses shrimp, squid, and chicken in a house curry paste with green pepper, peas, and an unbearably catchy theme song ($11.95). Sweeten meal endings with a bowl of milky, coconut ice cream ($3.95) to cool flames from a fiery dinner rush.
At Siam Kitchen, skillful chefs whip together a multitude of noodles, rice, curry, teriyaki, and other authentic Thai dishes to create an expansive menu of flavors. A choice of pork, beef, chicken, or tofu is the main star in the pad gra tiem prig thai dish, where adoring chefs shower it with garlic-pepper sauce and heartfelt love letters on a stage of lettuce and cilantro ($8.95). Nosh on traditional fried rice ($7.95) or slurp up the pad woon sen ($7.95), where chicken, shrimp, a host of vegetables, and silver noodles mingle with a house brown sauce. In a teriyaki dish, a choice of meat or tofu mingles with chopped cabbage and carrots in a homemade teriyaki sauce ($8.95), teaming up to satisfy cravings for zest and fit the pieces of their friendship necklaces together.
Thai Juan On features a menu that is chock-full of authentic Thai taste foundations, slightly altered to fit the grooves of American Thai eaters' taste buds. Kick things off with the likes of crispy noodle/mee krob ($6.95), before diving mouth-first into the rest of the menu. The dinner terrain covers more than 40 soup, noodle, rice, and entree dishes, including the magnificent noodle/mee phat num prik poa, which melds egg noodles with shrimp, scallop, calamari, and veggies ($15.95). The mermaid's dowry/pla prik lets diners sample the spicy taste of grilled sole, bell peppers, carrots, mushrooms, and onions before awkwardly explaining to their parents that they're in love with a human-fish hybrid. Thai Juan On's daily lunch menu features midday palate jolts like the Crying Tiger ($9.95)—grilled beef with spicy lime sauce—and the Red Devil ($10.95), spicy beef masaman curry with potato and onion.
Chefs drive the menu at Rama, an upscale eatery whose many accolades include praise from Gayot and Zagat. The latter names the eatery a top Thai restaurant and a top restaurant for décor in San Diego. In the kitchen, chefs stir and sizzle dishes such as pra ram sautéed spinach, massaman curry, kra pao with chicken, and tiger prawns. Specialty cocktails enhance traditional rum, vodka, and tequila with limejuice and ginger. Rama’s acclaimed décor soothes minds troubled by premonitions of upcoming rugby injuries with a waterfall that drips down a stonewall, as well as gauzy, gossamer drapes and glowing lanterns.
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