Okay, my friends who turned me on to this joint are gonna kill me for mentioning this place, but hey, you gotta share the wealth. ~SAI JAI THAI~ (a name worthy of yelling three times fast before unloading a series of swift kicks on some crazed ninja opponent wielding customized nun chucks) totally rocks my delivery world. Granted, they sometimes take a long time, but it's also because I plead with them to deliver to me out in the Western Addition (tip: make it worth their while and spend more than the $15 minimum if they tell you that you live too far away).
Winner dishes: the mieng come ($5.95), a funky and refreshing little starter of laloop or spinach leaves that you fill with shredded coconut, dried shrimp, roasted peanuts, and lime juice, plus some ginger and their "special sauce." Like mini tacos, without carnitas.
I also am a sucker for their angel wings ($6.95), but these aren't exactly ideal for delivery because the crispy crust can get a little soggy. Still pretty delish though.
The winner of the crack delivery dish title, however, is the kor moo yang ($7.50), a whomping pile of fatty and grilled pork shoulder with the most awesome (yes, awesome) nutty fried rice and a spicy chili and fish sauce you dunk your pork into. Hold me.
Beef salad ($7.95) is another one that is totally worth the price-point (it's not THAT steep, seriously), with thin slices of broiled beef mixed with spicy lime dressing and mint, plus a shaking of rice powder. You can also get the beef on its own ($7.50) in the beef barbecue dish, with slices of garlic-marinated sirloin on a bed of lettuce with the spicy chili and fish sauce. No, this is not the best beef you'll ever stick your fork into, and it's a far moo from Niman Ranch, but hey, we're talking Tenderloin Thai here.
My hangover special is the kao rad nah gai ($7.25), a pile of sautéed chicken, mushrooms, and onions in gravy, with Chinese sausage and a fried egg on top. Healed!
Oh, and I can't forget the pad kee mao ($5.95), which is totally meow: stir-fried rice noodles with carrot, cabbage, broccoli, basil, and a spicy sauce, with your pick of pork, chicken, or beef. Purr.
There are all kinds of other dishes on the menu that aren't your typical fare—I am still working my way through the menu (54 dishes total, must finish the menu…). Be adventurous, you'll usually be rewarded. (Which is not always the case in dating or investing.)
I actually ate at the restaurant for the first time just this week, and it was almost like a bad internet date—the real thing was not at all what I thought it was going to be. While the striped walls alternating between orange sherbet and ivory was, uh, cheerful, I almost wish I hadn't seen the scary pile of office supplies and all kinds of crap in the back of the restaurant, which showed they are kind of sloppy. Not even kind of sloppy, actually; try totally sloppy. Like Pig Pen is their patron saint. I peeked into the back kitchen and things were not much prettier. Ignorance=bliss. Although they magically scored an 85 on their SF Department of Health inspection, so their kitchen isn't totally filthy. Service, while sweet, was also painfully slow. I'm sticking with ordering in—when it gets there, it gets there.
Sai Jai Thai
771 O'Farrell St.
Cross: Hyde St.
San Francisco, CA 94109