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Chowlunch at Banana House, SF (Thai food) - report

Joel Teller | Jul 26, 200411:16 PM

The Friday SF Chinatown lunch parade continues…
Friday July 23

Twelve of us had lunch at Banana House (Thai food). We got one order of most of the dishes listed below, so as to try a larger number of items. Most of the servings were generous so we all got to taste a bit.
Thanks to Nick and Kathy for organizing.

This place is not really set up for family-style dining: most of the plates are designed for single diners. For example, in a Chinese place, you'd order a plate of Mongolian Beef and it would be one item -- share it as you will. But most of the plates here contain meat, several veg, starch -- a complete meal on each plate (although they also serve rice on the side). Anyway, we had fun, and it was nice to meet some new folks and see some familiar faces too. Unfortunately they were adamant that we could NOT open the wine we'd brought -- they do not have a liquor license.

We had these dishes (numbers are from the menu, I don't have the prices at hand):
#2 Deep-Fried corn cakes and #8 Tod Mun (deep-fried fish cakes). Both of these were greasy, and served with a gummy sauce -- unlike the thin "fish sauce" I was expecting. We did not finish these.

#14 Green Papaya Salad- tasty and crunchy.

#19 Larb Pad (Duck salad) with peanuts -- excellent, very rich, tender duck.

#65 Stir Fried Radish Cake -- unusual. This is similar to the Turnip (daikon) cake you get with dim sum -- but cut into lozenges, and fried on all sides. They came on a bed of scrambled egg and bean sprouts. Tasty, mild.

#57 Udon Tom Yum. This was a tasty noodle casserole soup with a variety of ingredients. Sour, not very spicy.

#46 Fried Chicken Fried Rice. A slab of deep-fried chicken breast over fried rice. Unusual, tasty but greasy.

Beef salad. The beef was taste-free but the condiments were OK.

Musselman Curry. I presume the name is a form of "Muslim". That religion forbids pork, so this dish had beef --chewy but tasty chunks, with big pieces of potato, in a tart-sweet mild curry.

Ginger with pork, Ginger with chicken. Both of these dishes were stirfried with strands of ginger. I liked both of these.

There may have been more -- I lost track at some point.

The downstairs was noisy when full (and it quickly filled). They do a big lunch business here, and a lot of take-out too.

Cost was $13 each.
*** Eleven people need to add comments! ***

Banana House
321 Kearny St, SF (between Bush and Pine)

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