BEST THAI RESTAURANT - 2005
Tamarind Thai Restaurant
305-861-6222 It's astonishing that a Thai restaurant whose master chef is Vatcharin Bhumichtir (proprietor of several of London's top Thai eateries, and author of half a dozen of the world's most renowned Southeast Asian cookbooks) could have opened last year -- in a low-profile North Beach location, no less -- with almost no media attention. But it's quite evident from the first bites of unusual items like laap gai (a chili/lime flavored, onion-garnished minced chicken salad in a cabbage leaf bowl) or signature tangy-sweet tamarind duck that this isn't your average lowest-common-denominator Thai/sushi joint. The food demonstrates the admirable balance of textures, heat, and flavors generally found only in Thailand -- or London. On top of that, the prices are modest. How did we luck out? Vatch (who is only occasionally in the kitchen but personally trained the chefs, on-site, to prepare his recipes) is a lifelong friend of co-owners Day and Surasak Longsomboon, who explain succinctly: "London in winter is very cold."
Readers´ Choice: Siam River Thai & Sushi Bar