January 20, 2012 @ 1PM
Now that a sparklier Les Ros Thai has opened in the more desirable Hayes Valley neighborhood, Les Ros Thai on Larkin is now the ugly older stepsister. In reality, there is nothing ugly about Les Ros Thai on Larkin. I do not know how old she is but her clean contemporary interior does not show her age.
The trip to Les Ros on Larkin leaves indeed leaves one's stomach in a tight knot. It is by the way located in the Tenderloin--the home of the hardened and broken spirits with no access to bathrooms.
The real challenge is not losing your appetite before you get to the restaurant.
Once you make it, it is all worth the adventure--Tenderloin-style.
Les Ros is modern and contemporary. The plates are geometric and sparkling clean. It is not a huge restaurant but spacious enough.
The servers are efficient and polite like the kind of local service you will get in Bangkok.
7x7 BIG EATS 2012 #45: DUCK LARB I am no stranger to larb since my Laotian bestfriend introduced me to this dish decades ago. Les Ros Thai's Duck Larb was good. Should you eat it before you die or is it worth dying for--cholesterol and all?
Yes, it was delicious with chopped pieces of flavorful boneless duck skin and meat in citrus-lime dressing. The duck was not gamey. It was tangy and a little overly salty. I even ate grains of MSG, I think. It was mixed in with mint, red onions, whole dried pieces of chili peppers and sprinkled with rice powder.
But NO, I'd rather tempt fate with Peking Duck with super-crispy paper thin skin and moist/juicy duck meat in bun with hoisin sauce and green onions.
My verdict for this 7x7 dish is it is a delicious salad but so was almost every dish that I had at Les Ros. It is worth ordering but it did not send me to foodie heaven.
#17 YUM KOH MOO YANG (Pork Shoulder Salad with Spicy Lime Dressing) $9.95
An appetizing dish of thinly sliced pork on top of basil, side of cabbage and generously drizzled with lime, chili peppers and herbs, this dish reminds me of LECHON (Filipino roasted pig.) It was not melt in your mouth like lechon which is slowly roasted over charcoal for at least 10 hours but the pork was tender and flavorful. There were little pieces of crunchy skin here and there. A good dish for pork lovers!
2 ORDERS OF LUNCH SPECIALS ($7.75 each)
Les Ros Thai's lunch specials are one of the best deals in town if not THE best deal in town! For $7.55 you get a salad, 2 choices of entrees and white or brown rice. The portions are generous and the entrees are very good!
I ordered YELLOW CURRY WITH TOFU and STIRFRIED EGGPLANT W/ BASIL.
The birthday girl, Edelmira, ordered the RED CURRY W/ BEEF and MARINATED BBQ CHICKEN W/ SWEET & SOUR SAUCE.
The curries were of the right consistency which should not be too thick or watered down. The flavors are lovely and complex and "come alive" in the palate. The dishes are on the spicy side, though, which we both loved but a caution to those who have low spicy threshold.
Thai food that would not disappoint with great service. Les Ros Thai is the place to bring Thai food novice and purists. The dishes are guaranteed delicious and the flavors bold. The portions are generous and reasonably priced. We really enjoyed our lunch.
Les Ros offers over 110 dishes to choose from so I am sure you or your picky friend will find and enjoy something.
ALLIGATORS, FROGS, BOARS, RABBITS, ANYONE?I kid you not! If you find yourself telling yourself, I want me some "alligator at around 11PM, you can find it at Les Ros which stays open until midnight.
Me, I will wait until I go back to New Orleans but for solid Thai food, Les Ros is the place for me here in the the Bay Area.
CHECK: $36 including tip, Thai Iced Tea, app and 2 lunch specials with plenty of leftovers for the birthday girl to enjoy at home.
HAYES VALLEY LOCATION:For those who do not want to go to the TL (I do not blame you), there is a second and more palatable Ler Ros Thai located in the Hayes Valley. Probably safer to go to at night but lunch time at Les Ros on Larkin only requires a dose of courage but not necessarily pepper spray.