Restaurants & Bars

dupont thai in north beach: lunch report

felice | Dec 13, 200402:21 PM     3

A neighborhood video store used to occupy this spot on the corner of Grant and Green. 6 months ago, I found that the video store moved next door. The person working at the video store said the owners (of the video store and current restaurant) were planning to open a Thai restaurant. The husband was Chinese, and the wife was Thai.

Well, they finally opened and I had a chance to eat lunch there this past weekend. I am really glad that this is the second Thai restaurant in the area. The first one is Thai Chef on Broadway, and the third will be Citizen Thai and the Monkey, on Grant nr Vallejo. Now if only we can get a Korean restaurant too....

I only had the chance to try two dishes plus the complimentary salad. Immediately after we ordered, they brought out a salad of lettuce, cucumber, shredded carrot, and peanut sauce. The peanut sauce was one of the better ones I've had. After this course, I was excited about the dishes to come.

Next came the calamari salad. This dish had its pluses and minuses. On the minus side, the dish was not spicy enough. This might have been my fault because I told the waiter, "I want it spicy but not Thai spicy. We don't want to cry." Well, he may have misinterpreted that to mean that I wanted it mild. The second minus was the actual calamari, which was different than I expected. Normally, the squid is in the form of little rings (the same ones used in fried calamari), or steaks that are white. Well, this squid looked like the steak kind, but the color was yellowish rather than white. I actually think it may have been cuttlefish rather than squid. On the plus side, there were plenty of herbs, the squid was cooked well, and the balance of seasonings (minus the spice) was good.

When the waiter came by to check on us, I told him the calamari salad was very mild (hint, hint, make the curry spicier).

Finally, the duck in red curry arrived. It was a large portion of both duck and curry. The curry was much more spicy, and was very flavorful. The duck was also very good. My favorite duck in red curry is the version at Little Thai on Broadway and Polk. In comparison, the version at Little Thai is only slightly better than the one at Dupont Thai because the duck at Little Thai was a little less fatty. For me, this is only a minor advantage because duck is fatty in nature, so if that's a concern of mine, then I don't order it.

The wine list was horrid and included a white zinfandel. Since they fully remodeled the space, it is very clean and the decor was nice, considering that 90% of the dishes are under $10.

I plan to revisit this restaurant and try out more of their dishes. There is a soup on the menu that I have not seen at most other Thai restaurants in the city. They also have some interesting chef's specials that I want to try.

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