Friday, May 11, 2007

Eating the Thai Temple?

I am not sure this entry qualifies for Stuff You Oughta Know's Carnival of Dining out , but I plan to send it anyways. The event is a really cool one, where bloggers are encouraged to comment about their favorite restaurant scene: local or otherwise.

There are so many such restaurants that I would love to write about given that am lucky enough to live this close to the mecca of good food: San Francisco! But today, I write about the most authentic Thai food I have had outside of Thailand.

Where is this you ask? Believe it or not, but I found amazingly good Thai food at the local Thai temple! Most dishes cost $5, with the desserts costing even less. R and I went there one Sunday afternoon where we had the most incredible Pad Thai, Som Tam, and never ending desserts. Ok, in our defense, I ordered the Som Tam extra spicy and then had to wash it down with desserts and more desserts (yah right ;).

The Som Tam (Raw Papaya Salad) was made fresh where the spices were ground and altered to my taste. Same with the Pad Thai, which seemed to be the most popular dish around, as we were the lucky to get our hands on the last plate being made. As you can imagine, we had to quickly wipe off our satisfied grins to avoid angry stares from people waiting eagerly in the line behind us!!

Desserts vary from sticky rice with mango, to lots of bean and coconut based traditional desserts. All the food is prepared by Thais living in the area so you know you are getting the real deal. Moreover, you eat the food on the beautiful calming lawns of the temple. In warm weather, this is an immensely pleasurable dining experience. This open air food haven is only open weekends (Sundays only I think). Make sure you go early to avoid missing the fast disappearing Pad Thai!

My Ratings:
Food: Mmm... (Good). Not an extensive "menu" so don't look for Kung Pao Chicken here ;)
Decor: The temple grounds overlooking the mountain can't be beat!
Service: Self service
Price: Yay. The $5 entree is worth the visit alone.
Would Go Again: Yay yay!


bee said...

wow, when we lived in fremont, we never knew about this place. you haev a great blog. have added you to the blogroll.

Dhana said...

Thanks for adding me to the blogroll! I am a huge fan of your site, and love the way it flows (jugalbandi style :). Look fwd t contributing to the JFI event.

Travel Betty said...

Places of worship are probably the best location for authentic ethnic food! I'm planning to stop by the Burmese Baptist church in SF to put my theory to the test. This place is next on my list! Thanks, Dhana.

Dhana said...

Thanks Betty! I love Burmese food so do let me know how your trip to the Burmese Church went!!

Iamcuriousblue said...

That sounds great, though Fremont is a bit far from where I am and I rarely make it over there. (I'm in Marin.)

I looked into the subject of local Thai Buddhist temples and it turns out there's another one called Wat Mongkolratanaram in Berkeley. And just like Wat Buddhanusorn, they sell food on Sunday.

More into here and here.

There are also Thai temples in San Francisco and San Bruno, but I'm not sure if they have regular food sales like the Fremont and Berkeley ones do.

I'll definitely be trying out the Berkeley temple soon.

Dhana said...

Iamcuriousblue, thanks for the pointers to the Berkeley Thai temple. Will definitely try to visit soon!