You know those perfect hole in the wall finds that make you feel like you're a real local somewhere? Yeah, well - I've got a new one. And as precious as these finds are, I'm going to be nice and share it with you.
Vegetarians rejoice, there are options aplenty here for you. And if you're on a budget, even better - a hearty meal for two here will set you back $20 at most. That includes a luxurious coconut juice (served in a green coconut!) too. Can't promise you an umbrella tho.
So what is this gem of an SF restaurant? It's called Ya Mo Thai Kitchen, and it's tucked away just off of Mission on 18th street. It's tiny - be prepared to take a seat at a small counter just opposite the stove and kitchen line. You'll get an up close and personal view of dinner being made.
The name suggests thai food, but don't expect your typical green curry and pad thai here. I think the place actually has more Burmese influence, and the fare ranges from fried samosas to unusual curried meats to deliciously simply fresh rolls.
My friend Siddhi, who gets total credit for introducing me to the place, swears by their cold spicy noodles. Be sure to order their tea leaf salad too - it's fragrant, earthy sour and crunchy all at once. And it's less than $5.
My absolute favorite part of Ya Mo? Every time I go, it's entirely woman run - and these women look like they're having a blast. They chit chat, yell, laugh - and every now and then, things on the stove go ablaze!
Ya Mo Thai Kitchen
3406 18th Street