A couple weeks ago I had a Cambodian cabbie who recommended Angkor Borei, which happened to be within walking distance of my home, though I'd never been. I stopped by with a friend on Saturday night and we shared a lovely meal.
To start, we ordered spinach leaves with assorted fillings. You get about 10-12 fresh spinach leaves on a platter with little glass bowls of diced ginger, peanuts, lime, red onion, jalapeno, dried shrimp, toasted coconut and a thick fish sauce with extra ginger, onion and shrimp blended in. It can be hard to manage the ratio of do-it-yourself apps: at other restaurants I end up with not enough wrappers for the fillings, this time it was the reverse. We loved the light, flavorful start to dinner, and fun to customize your food to your taste. My friend, who is a ginger lover, hogged that root, while I nabbed all the dried shrimp.
Next we moved on to the ahmohk, which was fantastic. The description is "a mild curry fish mousse served in a banana leaf basket." I imagined fish that had been pulverized and extruded into rosettes or something, like piped frosting, but I thought I remembered Dave MP's recommendation for this dish, and insisted we get it. It was big chunks of fish soaked in young coconut juice and curry, then steamed in a basked crafted out of cross-hatched banana leaves. The warm, rich dish felt luxurious on a rainy night.
I had been sick earlier that weekend and was stuck on the idea of getting noodles. The dish we ordered set off alarm bells (only dish in the noodle section), but I could not be dissuaded. Mistake. It was a wet, limp pad thai that tasted as if all of the flavor had been leached out. I don't want to dwell because it was otherwise a great meal, but I definitely wouldn't recommend the noodles.
Service was warm and gracious, and the meal was a great value--I think we paid less than $30. I will definitely return and hope to explore more of the menu.
More meals inspired by recommendations from San Francisco cab drivers...
Taxi Cab Recs: Palestinian: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/468531
Taxi Cab Recs: Guatemalan: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/446559
Taxi Cab Recs: Salvadoran: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/441558
Taxi Cab Recs: Moroccan: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/424226
3471 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110