Unprofessional Staff, Mediocre Food. My husband and I recently went to Kwanjai Thai for lunch. Since I'm allergic to MSG, I approach new restaurants with caution. The moment we entered, we asked if they use MSG in their food. The man who greeted us assured us that, no, they did not. Unfortunately, three bites into my lunch, I got that familiar scratchy throat, achy head, dizziness. My husband asked a woman who worked there if they use MSG, just to clarify and ease my worried mind. She informed us that YES they do use MSG. While my head swam and my throat closed, my husband explained the situation. We heard her yelling at the man who greeted us. Then, she offered to replace our food, but I was already sick. She was very nice, but it was too late. Despite my uneaten food, she brought us a check and proudly announced that she'd taken 10% off. I spent the rest of the day in bed recovering.
Great value. I still don't understand why Kwanjai Thai isn't more crowded. It has really excellent service, great food, and affordable prices. Occasionally the very spicy food will overwhelm this very small space, causing diners to be a tad overwhelmed. But it's well worth it! Spare yourself the overhyped Mamacita and A16, and check out this local, underappreciated restaurant.
Amazing Service, Spectacular Food.
I eat Thai all of the time - and this is by far the best Thai restaurant I've found in the entire Bay Area. The service is spectacular and the ambience is perfect for a date, business meeting, or good family meal. The restaurant is also very kid friendly!
OK - now for the food. I love the vegetable wraps, tom kha soup, pad thai, thai samosas, brown rice, and spicy eggplant. Everything is perfectly prepared and the food is not overpowered by oil, sauces or spices. I've never had to send anything back or ask for adjustments - if I had to, I'm certain the staff would have been extraordinarily gracious about helping out.
We'll go back here often, and continue to take our out of town guests.
One last thing - the prices are great!
Pristinely fresh, delicious Thai food.
Kwanjai is the best Thai restaurant I've found in over ten years of living in the city. Everything is prepared to delight your eyes as well as your palate. There's some fusion going on, from the unique and delicious flank steak appetizer wrapped around slivers of cucumber and carrot served with a fantastic wasabi dipping sauce to some Japanese and Indian inspired entrees.
Their Tom Yum Gai soup is tinglingly spicy and full of tender, carefully deveined shrimp, and their main dishes use superior quality meats and vegetables presented beautifully. Standouts include a salmon with crispy fried basil leaves, chicken with chili paste (or any meat with chili paste) and eggplant with or without pork. Their lunch specials include Vietnamese style summer rolls, soup and rice with your choice of entree and are too big for most people to finish.
Spicy usually really means spicy here, so request it only if you mean it.
I am really shocked by the bad review I found here--it actually inspired me to write in and share my many positive experiences I've had eating here or bringing food home. It's the cleanest tasting, most artfully executed and best Thai food I've had in San Francisco. I've been to many Thai places in the city, but Kwanjai is fantastic AND consistent. Judging by the masses of people who've also found this place and have made it so popular for dining in and takeout, I'm not alone.
Fabulous!. I have been a regular at this restaurant since its opening and love every meal I have there. Being Thai myself, I can attest to the food as being authentic and tasty, just like home! It's also easy on the wallet, especially during lunch hours.
User review by ning007.
This was our fifth visit to Kwanjai Thai restaurant
We were made very welcome at Kwanjai from the moment we arrived. The food was delicious and excellent and fantastic value for money.
My chicken Green curry was very lovely! and sweet sticky rice with Mangoes was so delicious!!
We would highly reccommened this restaurant.
Great Thai Food.
This was the best Thai food I've had in the two years of living out here. Finally I found a place that makes my favorites the way I like them. The Red Curry Prawn dish is excellent. Lunch is a great deal...for about 8-10 bucks depending on what you order you get a full lunch with awesome spicy soup,(chicken or shrimp-your choice) a spring roll,entree & rice.
The decor is pretty and the waitstaff is very nice. Large portions...I had to take mine home. If you want great Thai food, you will be very pleased with the quality.
A sexy, ultra-modern look attracts a stylish crowd to this sleek Thai bistro in the Marina..
The narrow, minimalist space is filled with chocolate browns, wine reds and stark whites. Well-dressed couples and small groups crowd glossy white tables and line a slinky banquette for traditional Thai specialties infused with a modern sensibility. Chef Khuanruen Phopon churns out a menu designed to match the jet set surroundings, such as a pumpkin curry that toes the line between sweet and savory and marinated flank steak grilled and rolled with celery, carrot and mint leaves.
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