Thai around Menlo Park

Isarn Garden isn’t too far away (~15 minute drive) and has quite good Thai food


Refuge is in the spot where the Thai place used to be and is an upgrade. Farmhouse thai, ka ra ka de on woodside, issarn garden, by distance. All better.

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Hey hey hey 20 plus years ago Siam Garden was pretty darn good. That and the Ginger club in Shopping center were our go to places on the weekend for some great Thai and Asian food. Red Lotus in Ladera also a fave.

Going to check out that Thai place in San Carlos. Looks great.

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Since I only ate there once, I won’t catfight about it. I think we would end up agreeing to disagree.

During those years, ThaiTime in san carlos as well as Amarin (MV, still there) were our favorites. Amarin is spotty still, with it being clear what nights there are chefs who know what they’re doing and when they don’t. Some nights there’s almost no flavor. ThaiTime was that lovely couple, him german, her thai, him presiding over a very nice german style bar, her presiding over the dining room, and they both took the time to get to know the customers. Ka ra ka de is still run by that insane thai guy, I think, who refuses to make non-thai-hot food, which I really respect, but can’t take my partner to :frowning: .

In terms of current thai, Farmhouse has very good ingredients, is super insta fancy, and dumbs down their food a bit but not too much. We don’t go there much. Issarn Garden is the opposite, with a bare bones dining experience, but a northern thai section of the menu that pulls at your heartstrings if you’ve ever spent even a few days north of chang mai. There’s one soup there which has that succession of bitter herb tastes common to northern thailand, and rare to get anywhere. They do another dish, the northern style papaya salad, with all the correct fermented fish, which - at medium - was too spicy for me but a bucketload of taste. I ate half and suffered the next day.

I still occasionally get Tommy Thai from MV. It’s a favorite of my Indian friends, because they will make food hot enough for indians (which is slightly less hot than usual thai standards, but well above what americans consider normal. I’ll eat their “8 or 9” depending on how I’m feeling - which is about what my south indian friends order). They also add a bit more salt, more to Indian taste than American or Thai taste. There are a few non-spiced items which my nephew would eat, like the honey bbq items. Unfortunately it suffered from its success and is now very uneven in terms of reliable pickup times and food quality - and the prices skyrocketed during pandemic.

To attempt to un-hijack this thread, there is a new indian place that opened in the same block as Left Bank this week, Tilak. Reports on the (non-trustworthy) Nextdoor are glowing, will be trying it this coming week. The menu is a little all over the place, with a set of northern and southern dishes, and the chef is apparently a Nepali who has been cooking Indian around the world (eg, Korea). Will be very interesting to think what they think Vindaloo is, but the inclusion of Chettinad Chicken on a menu is encouraging, even if alongside “chef specials” of butter chicken and chicken-tikka-masala.

I also still like Killlieny Kopitam in Palo Alto, as it hits the fast casual singapore vibe just right. They could probably use more business.


Excited to hear about new Indian place in MP. We have an apt in Sharon heights (live in Santa Barbara mainly now) and I love hearing about new local places. Will check it out next trip.

We ate at Siam Gardens so much that we got to know the owners and they were really warm and friendly to our two little kids (at the time) and always greeted them by name. Very warm memories.

Not sure who is moderating this thread, but is there any way we can break out the Asian restaurant posts to a separate discussion? I’d like to add a couple of EBay Thai places but this is going way off the original post on Left Bank’s French-inspired cooking.

Went to Left Bank last night for the first time in years. Not very crowded (we ate outside) hope they’re doing all right. I had the salad nicoise which is the only item I ever ordered there. Still decent. Walked by the new Indian place. There was a group on the patio eating and had brought their own wine since they don’t have a liquor license yet. Going to check it out next week. Also saw the Farmhouse Thai restaurant in the old Gambradella’s by the train station. Is that the one that was being recommended unthread?

Ha. We were planning to go to left bank and have the nicoise salad but we got engrossed in the warriors game. Ended up at Union Local 271 and had one of the most disgusting dishes of all time, a “poke nachos” but was covered in mayonnaise (and not listed as such on the menu). Interesting the indian place turned a blind eye to the open wine, I think that’s not legal in CA, and yes, farmhouse thai is not bad (good ingredients, fresh taste, instagram interior) but I recommend Isarn Garden in San Carlos (brighter tastes, regional specialties)


Ugh, I hate mayonnaise so that sounds like a nightmare. We are back to our old haunts-Amigos Grill, Portola Kitchen and Coffeebar. We did try a new coffee place down by train station called St. Franks. Coffee was okay and train coming and leaving was very very loud. Had great ramen delivered from Orenchi.

If you like the ramen from Orenchi (RWC site ?) you should try Marufuku Ramen closeby in RWC

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I’ll have to try Marufuku. I’ve been to Orenchi in the city and we have had it delivered a few times. We used to go to Ramen Nagi in Palo Alto but no outdoor seating or delivery.

nagi has had outdoor seating all through pandemic, did they take it away? i thought the places on the side streets were keeping their expansion into the parking spaces (zola, bevri, etc).

i just never saw the line there less than half an hour. kept eyeballing it to see what the fuss was about.

orenchi never had outdoor to speak of. maybe they had one or two tables?

marafuku had a very short line when i walked by a few weeks ago. they have outdoor as they are on the blocked off street near the cinema. if it is the place i am thinking of. they opened pretty recently too.

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Yeah, I was probably trying to say that standing in line for a long time became a lot less desirable in the last 2 years. Nagi didn’t have alcohol when we used to go so it was only a lunch place for us. For a long time we used to stay at the Sheraton or pre Nobu hotel and went to PA restaurants. Now we have a place in Sharon Heights so back to MP and Portola Valley favorites especially because we now have very young grandkids with us most of the time. Wish there were more Zotts kind of places. Tried to go there at 5:15 on Friday night and it was a Zoo.

We got the spicy tonkotsu ramen and chicken karaage from Orenchi and it’s good. A good delivery meal because they keep broth separate and then you can heat it up and pour over noodles etc.