New favorite Thai in the East Bay: Soi 4 in Rockridge. Somehow I got the idea from the location, decor, presentation, wine list, yuppie crowd, and so on that it was a fusion place, so had never gone there. Mea maxima culpa. Lucky for me Uzen happened to close early the other night.
The flavors were fairly hardcore Thai, the kitchen's not shy with the fish sauce or chiles. Steamed turnip cakes, nice and crispy, with a great mungbean sprout and herb salad. Grilled eggplant and minced pork salad, nice intense dressing. Crunchy Chinese broccoli with crisp pork belly. Perfectly grilled halibut. Very reasonable prices given the quality of the ingredients and cooking, good service, and pleasant atmosphere. Good wine for $6-7 a glass.
Looks like I won't be driving into the City to Thai House Express quite as often.