Saturday, January 21, 2006

Amusing Musings on Marnee Thai

The best place for Thai in the city of San Francisco and its environs is Marnee Thai. I mentioned it briefly in a previous post, but I want to fully explain everything, from the appetizing angel wings, to its celebrated pad thai. Why the sudden motivation for this post? Well, I just went to Marnee Thai this week, and was able to snap a generous amount of shots of my meal there. Thus, this post is so that I may pander to your viewing pleasure.

Although I hardly ever order appetizers at restaurants, I always begin with the wonderfully sticky angel wings at Marnee Thai. The crinkly, deep-fried Thai basil looks beautiful atop the gooey wings, and they taste even more delicious. The basil crackles and evaporates onto your tongue like a fresh communion wafer. The light sprinkling of nutty sesame seed-like granules pop in your mouth as you bite into the chicken, and the wings are coated in a concoction made from sweet, nectared honey.

However, eating the wings is impossible to do so with chopsticks or a fork. Unfortunately, if you use your hands to eat the wings, you will experience "Cheetos-finger syndrome," (when your fingers become stained and sullied with a ghastly mess that cannot be cleaned with a dry napkin). Furthermore, another pitfall of the wings, is that if you smell your besmirched fingers after devouring a set of the wings, they will reek of vulgar-smelling fish sauce. However, you won't notice the smell of your fingers, when the visually-appealing main dishes are delivered to your table.

Marnee Thai's pad thai is world-renowned for a reason. Unlike other Thai restaurants, Marnee Thai perfectly harmonizes the sourness of tamarind paste with a rich sugary flavor that tastes like it came straight from the sugarcane. Additionally, the silken rice noodles aren't just sloppily coated in sauce, but are cooked until they have absorbed and fully inhaled the flavor of the sauce into its body. The other ingredients only accentuate the majestic flavor of the sauce: cooling and invigorating bean sprouts; leafy feathers of cilantro; crunchy curls of pink shrimp; and munchable crushed peanuts.

Other than the pad thai, I'd say that the other dishes I've ordered are generally pretty good. For instance, in addition to tender slivers of duck meat, the duck red curry has refreshing bites of tomato, julienned bell peppers, rolly-polly green peas, and moist chunks of pineapple, all swimming in a pool of curry-infused coconut milk. The duck red curry is pretty good. It isn't the best I've ever had in San Francisco, but it tastes great with the pad thai (like how everything does).

The last dish that we ordered on this week's trip to Marnee Thai also merits a recommendation. It was the seafood combo, which really did "combine" many seafoods together, including: delicate squid tentacles, julienned ginger, circular rounds of scallops, mussels on the half shell, shrimp, and colorful bell peppers. But if you order the seafood combo, be careful of the twiggy sprigs that are decorated with spicy peppercorns--they are just like bay leaves, because they are not to be eaten.

I hope that this post got you in the mood. . . In the mood for Thai food! If you live in the San Francisco area and have never tried Marnee Thai, or will be visiting the San Francisco area sometime soon, just remember that Marnee Thai is high on my list of "SF" restaurant recommendations.


  1. Wow! What a meal! What descriptions! I can taste, smell, feel everything you had that night! Well done PE!

  2. Hi PE - Funny we've been eating Thai alot too! I've always felt that there were these really weird blog-a-rhythms that run through the blogesphere.

  3. Your blog always makes my mouth water!

  4. That's some great writing PE. How much did you pay Elmo? Just kidding. The meal was beautifully described and the pictures only get the palate all hot and bothered. I'll post my thai noodles up soon.

  5. Hi PE,
    I like the line, "The basil crackles and evaporates onto your tongue like a fresh communion wafer." Ha-ha. I hope my superiors will not see me as irreverent and blasphemous, but don't you think people might be encouraged to line-up for communion more often, if they're experience is as heavenly as having that basil crackle and evaporate in their mouths.
    anyways, i think i should go to confession after posting this comment. ha-ha.
    the pictures are great by the way, i hope i can take pictures that way (and create wonderful plating too!).

  6. Thank you for your beautiful compliments and comments Elmo Monster, Kirk, Rachel, Eat, Drink, & Be Merry, and J Haw. I've missed everyone on my "sick leave," and am glad to be back and see (and most importantly, comment on) your wonderful blogs!

    Eat, Drink, & Be Merry, is it so wrong to "accidentally" sneak a few greenbacks in the pockets of friendly members of the commenting public?

    Thank you so much J Haw! Please accept my forgiveness for causing you to stumble. And I've noticed your pictures on The Jesuit Gourmet, and I have to say that your pictures aren't that bad themselves! (They help capture the sensory experience of the meal.) Plus, your plating is far better than that of Marnee Thai!


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