Lers Ros, SF

One of the best things about living in my neighborhood is its proximity to some of the best Thai restaurants in the city.

Lers Ros on Larkin is one of those, and very highly rated on both Yelp and in the Zagat guide. So I walked my lonesome down the few blocks to check it out.

You will be greeted by chirpy waitstaff (most, if not all, speak Thai) and seated at a table or at the counter. On weekends, be prepared to wait, and also come prepared to yell because it might as well have been a rock concert in that little space.

Couples were yelling their sweet nothings over bowls of rice.

Not my idea of a romantic dinner.

But once you get past that, you’re in for an excellent meal!

The Tom Kha seafood soup contained a good number of fishballs and fresh clams and prawns in a delightful broth packed with seafood-ness and lemongrass flavor. I loved how they swam around in a steamboat pot with a lit candle inside to keep it hot.

I took the leftover soup home and cooked white rice with it. Delicious.

The mark of a great restaurant is how they do the representative dish of that country. For Thai restaurants, that representative dish is pad Thai. Lers Ros’ traditional pad Thai came with very generous helpings of both bean sprouts and crushed peanuts, as well as a good number of prawns (six!) Strips of tofu rounded out this substantial dish.

Prawn-ier than the average pad thai.

The rice noodles didn’t have that oily, heavy feel in the mouth, which was a pleasant surprise. Neither did they feel squishy from being overcooked, as you would typically find them at lesser Thai restaurants.

A Singha? Why not?

The most surprising fact about Lers Ros is, in addition to a selection of local and Asian beers, their extensive wine menu. While I can’t comment on the staff’s knowledge of wine pairings (I like beer with my grease), I love that this caters to the varied tastes of San Franciscans.

THE VERDICT:

Portion sizes here are just right for the price and the quality is excellent. My first meal there definitely warrants a second. However, expect to circle the surrounding blocks for an hour looking for street parking (there are three parking garages nearby on Ellis, Eddy, and Turk) and wait for ten to twenty minutes on Friday evenings and weekends. They are open until midnight and deliver for free, so I would highly recommend taking advantage of that offer!

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