I went to the Berkley Thai Temple last Sunday. The food ranged from good home cooking to fantastic.
If I lived in the area I would stop in a lot, and they pack food to go, too. It is pretty inexpensive, large plates and soups are $4 and sides and desserts $2 or $3. Two combo plate with rice from the hot pan area is $5.
There is a patio area in the back with lots of tables to take your food to. There is a large variety of food. All types of people go and it is very casual. You change your food for Thai tokens, then order food from different stalls/counters. It's like an outdoor food market and there were Thai girls dressed in costume and a parade with cymbals and drums.
Thanks to Alexandria from this board for supplying the Address 1911 Russel St. 1 block N. of Ashby BART.
Delicious crispy sticky chicken wings with fried basil (reeked of fish sauce)
Just OK mussaman curry with potato and peanuts over rice.
A bowl of soup noodles with beef steak, beef balls and tripe- broth was too sweet, so we didn't eat much (and were getting full) but other people seemed to like it a lot.
Pork sausage with herbs and a little rice. There is regular and lemongrass - I got the lemongrass and sticky rice. This was kinda of dry but great lemongrass flavor. The lady cooking them up in a grill area (chicken too) makes them herself
Green Papaya Salad - made to order in front of you. The guy will ladle the dressing and the shredded ingredients in a deep mortar and mix it with a big wooden pestle. They ask if you want it sour or spicy.
For dessert we had Ka-nom-krok, a delicious fried coconut milk/flour concoction. It was cooked on a cast iron griddle that had many indentations. The liquid was poured in and the thinks jelled/solidified. They were chewey and buttery on the outside and like custard in the middle. I took some home, but they were not as good cold. Also took home Thongumuan--delicate rolled wafers (for ice cream maybe) made from flour sugar, egg coconut milk and sesame.
I saw many more things I'd like to sample, and meant to buy some to-go chicken basil turnovers. The mango sticky rice looked great. A huge plate of sticky rice and a sliced up mango with coconut milk mixture ladled over all. There was also chicken larb in to-go containers that looked good, but also looked to have been sitting in the sun for a while.
This would be good with a group because you can try many things and the portions are mostly on the large side.