Mae krua thai- bernal SF

if, like me, you have cause to patronize the wild side west bar on cortland, maybe check out Mae krua in the same communal spot that houses paulie’s pickling (which switched from pickles and sandwiches to middle eastern fare. I liked their mujadarra and I hear their shakshouka is good. Oh they still sell pickles.)

I’ve had a green curry from Mae krua that had surprising heat, defying my expectations of bernal heights Thai food. But I really like this guy’s pad Thai.

Yes I said pad thai. The saucing is good, no sign of ketchup and you can taste the tamarind. The proprietor/chef has fresh bean sprouts, uses fresh wide rice noodles instead of the usual thin dried variety. It’s vegetarian, with tender tofu cubes, egg, and a side of chile flakes if you want heat.

If you want wok hei, you won’t find it here. The man uses an electric pan. I’ve only been here twice and haven’t spoken to the chef, but I want him to get an induction burner or a portable stove to achieve some proper heat levels for stir frying. If you see the space you’ll understand it’s limitations as a kitchen.

but bernal and most of the mission don’t have much to offer in thai food, aside from hawker fare and lers ros at least to my taste. I know I’m talking about pad thai, but when it’s good, it’s good.

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I’m a fan of Mae Krua as well and am fortunate to live within walking distance. I usually end up eating at Peaches when I’m at 331 Cortland; but I agree that Mae Krua has surprisingly spicy (and well balanced) Thai for Bernal. I have an acquaintance that works for the chef, and he claims chef is dedicated to playing it straight on Thai flavors and not compromising to the 'hood’s tastes. Good for him. I should eat there more often.

Worth a trip, in lieu of let’s say the Thai restaurants in the Tenderloin?

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold