Go early or be prepared to wait. This place is fantastic but it's so tiny that it gets crowded early. Go early if you can, on a weeknight, when it's not as packed. This is some of the tastiest and most inventive thai food you will find in this part of town, and probably anywhere in the City. Highly recommended are Yok Yor (a special that is usually available), Ped Tod, Crying Lady, and the Basil-Basil Prawns. But really, just about everything is good so take your time with the long menu and find something that sounds appealing. Staff is welcoming and helpful. If you're not luck enough to live in the 'hood, take a cab or Muni cause parking is beyond difficult.
Thai to Die For....
Have dined at Thep Phanom about 4 times over the last couple of years and have never been dissapointed. The food is consistently tasty with a twist, expect to taste a lot of basil and coconut. The decor is homey, not what you would expect in a Thai restaurant and while the place is always crowded, service is decent. If you have to wait, there's a small table by the kitchen where you can grab a glass of wine, no mixed drinks.
11/12/03 Update: Had a pretty poor meal there last night, food was over-salted and service was very slow. May have been just a bad night but...
Excellent Thai Food. Don't beleive the amateur reviewers. Been to the best Thai restaurants in Chiang Mai and Bangkok recently (including The Oriental's infamous Thai restaurant ) twice this year. The food at Thep Phanom is excellent. Try their "special" portabello mushroom with prawns and the tasty yum nir salad (tender steak & lettuce with a spicy kick!
WOW. Looks like a hole in the wall but its not. Must do if you like Thai food. Good luck finding parking take the bus. I had take out and was in and out in 5 min. Good tea.
Exquisite. The wait could be monstrous. I suggest you make your reservation and go early since the parking is extremely difficult. The place is nicely decorated. The service is standard. Waiters/waitresses are dressed in traditional outfit. The food is delicious, very exquisite and done just right. The fried yam over peanut sauce is very good. Other classic choices as Spring Roll, Tom Kha Gai , Pad Thai, curries are excellent. But since youre there, try the other specials. Their Titanic Salmon is superb and fresh.
Can't Go Wrong. Consistently good, high quality Thai Food. To avoid the wait get there at 6 PM when they open. You can also get a full meal at the small bar in the back. Otherwise, head over to Toronado Bar around the corner on Haight street and have a beer (They have 40 on tap) while you wait.
!. Have taken Thai friends and Thai cuisine fans always to rave reviews. Great, resonably priced place to dine. You always know you'll have a great meal. I have to strongly disagree with the "Horrible" review....especially the comment about being over priced. You can't get a meal for these prices, let alone one that is SOOOO GOOOOOD. If it were truly horrible, then you wouldn't need to book in advance. Always a line...always
HORRIBLE. The people who think this place is good definitely do not know thai food. It is louder than a bar on Friday night, food is overpriced, staff is rude. There is simply nothing appealing about it.
Definitely NOT the Best!. Being a huge fan of Thai food (and having a Thai boyfriend for 9 years), I was excited to dine here after hearing all the great reviews. What a letdown! The food was nothing to write home about. Ambience? More like, an old house in a tacky neighborhood. If this is the best Thai food that SF has to offer, I'll have to fly to Chicago, L.A., or elsewhere to find something a tad bit more exciting. If you're willing to eat mediocre Thai food, why not have it in a nicer atmosphere -- like at Khan Toke?!
thep phanom is phenomenal. Great, great food ... nice people. Long wait but very worth it!
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