It’s kind of hard to believe that I have never blogged about San Francisco’s most successful Thai restaurant empire. With 7 locations across the city, Osha Thai has come to truly epitomize Thai cuisine in San Francisco. Since the 3rd St Osha Thai is the closest to my place, Pdho and I decided to stop by to catch Happy Hour. This location took over the space formerly occupied by Bong Su and is the most recent addition to the Osha Thai collection. I was and wasn’t surprised by how busy it was for a Friday evening. Given it was the end of the work week, anyone would expect a lounge/bar/restaurant type place like Osha Thai would be packed with people ready to kick start the weekend. However, I have been rather skeptical about how well Osha Thai has been able to attract enough people given the close proximity to its sister restaurant just a little over a block away on 2nd St. Clearly, there are enough diners to satisfy two locations in SOMA.
Much to no one’s surprise (if they are regular readers), we started off with Crunchy Calamari which was lightly battered, deep-fried and sparingly topped in a spicy Sriracha mayo sauce. It was presented on a bed of Fuji apple slices. I really liked how they used whole pieces of squid instead of the typical calamari rings. It wasn’t too tough or overly chewy which guarantees to ruin calamari for me, but the best part really was the sauce. It had a nice creamy kick to the flavor and went really well with the otherwise, lightly seasoned calamari.
The Spicy Catfish was deep fried and then stir-fried in a red curry sauce with basil, Kaffir lime leaf and red bell pepper. It was sort of ironic, but the dish was so good that it almost wasn’t good. The catfish was hot and crispy, and the sauce was full of flavor to where I could only eat tiny bites at a time. I needed a whole lot of white rice to help soak up some of the thick sauce. The dish was immensely flavorful, almost to the point where it was overpowering my taste buds.
My favorite dish of the night was the Crab Fried Rice. There was a good amount of crab stir-fried with egg and a mix of white and green onions. It was absolutely delicious! Best part is that even after eating a fair share of the healthy portion, we still had enough left overs for another meal.
I’ve eaten many times at several different Osha Thai locations, and I’ve never once had a bad meal. The ambiance is clean and modern but distinctly Thai. The food is always FULL of flavor (sometimes overflowing), and although I’m not totally sure if it’s authentic, I can definitely say that it’s probably some of the best tasting Thai I’ve ever had. Unfortunately, like a lot of really good ethnic food in the city, it’s a little too expensive for what it should be. Most dishes are in the $10-$20, which doesn’t seem that pricey but when you think about typical Thai food, it really shouldn’t cost that much. Nevertheless, if you can put cost aside, you’re guaranteed to have a great meal every time you come.
Osha Thai #7
311 3rd St
(between Folsom St & Saint Francis Pl)
San Francisco, CA 94107
PAFO Ratings for Osha Thai #7:
Price 3 ½ stars
Ambiance 4 stars
Food 4 stars
Overall rating 4 stars