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October 3, 2005

Neighborhood Thai

My neighborhood is blessed with several excellent Thai restaurants, three of which are favorites of mine. I ate at all three this week (!) - out of town friends like Thai food! They're all places with little ambiance but great food and dirt cheap prices.

Pam Real Thai is on 49th Street slightly west of 9th Avenue. It does not take reservations and gets crowded at dinner time - the kitchen is marvelous (and the food tends to be hot, so don't think you need to tell them to make things spicy). Recommended dishes include the pad prik khing (string beans in a chili sauce with your choice of meat - it is particularly good with beef), narm tork (a marinated beef salad) and the pad kra prow ( duck with peppers in a hot sauce). It's cash only and an extravagant meal will come to around $35 for two. You can easily eat for less.

Wondee Siam
is on the east side of 9th Avenue between 52nd and 53rd. It's another neighborhood joint, barely a storefront, even tinier and more crowded than Pam Real Thai, and with a kitchen that rivals it. Each has their partisans; I have had great meals at both. The link above has reviews noting a deterioration at Wondee that I have not experienced. Same price range, also cash only. Particularly good here are the duck and beef salads, and fried ice cream ends the meal hedonistically.

If you need a some ambience, Wondee Siam has an upscale sister, Wondee Siam II one block north on the other side of the street. Though still simple, the room is much prettier, the food only slightly more expensive ($1-$2 per entree) and they take credit cards. The kitchen is a bit better at the original though.

Posted by Leigh Witchel at October 3, 2005 3:09 PM

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I MISS THE WONDEE SIAM!!! Dallas actually has many excellent Thai restaurants, but I miss the Wondee Siam. It's just more neighborhoody somehow. We will definitely be going there when I visit! :-)

Posted by: Steve at October 4, 2005 12:50 AM

Next time you come to San Diego, I'll take you downtown to the wonderful Thai restaurant on University whose name I can never remember... or else we'll just stay in North County and go to Siam Basil in Encinitas.

There's no better Thai food anywhere except Thailand. Southern California has oodles of fabulous Thai and Vietnamese restaurants, and almost no (please, please, someone correct me!) really good Chinese food. Sigh...

Posted by: Grace at October 7, 2005 11:02 PM

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