Must-try Thai food in and around Marin

Francesca Fox

 When it comes to Thai food throughout Marin, the numerous options can often be daunting. To help narrow it down, I have compiled a list of the best Thai food restaurants in or near Marin and ranked them on quality of food, service and ambience for all of your wildest Thai-craving adventures.

R’noh Thai (5 stars)

Located within a mile of Redwood, R’noh Thai scores five stars for its outstanding service and mouthwatering dishes. Despite its slightly hidden location off the main road of Magnolia Avenue, its private parking lot makes the restaurant extremely accessible. As for the food, the sauce on the pad thai was masterfully blended with sweet, sour and savory flavors, adding to its unique richness. The flat noodles were not too cooked or underdone, and the garnish of cilantro and peanuts complimented the flavors within the sauce. Unlike the rest of the restaurants, the chicken pad thai remained flavorful even as the dish cooled. Although I dined on a busy Saturday night, the waitresses of the packed restaurant managed to check on my table frequently and went out of their way to be friendly. R’Noh Tai also provides take-out as an alternative to dining in. 

Khan Toke Thai House (4.5)

Shining brightly, the Khan Toke sign invites customers inside.

Compared to the other restaurants, Khan Toke, which is located on Geary Boulevard in San Francisco, was definitely the most unique experience. The employees request that every customer take off their shoes before sitting at tables that are extremely low to the ground with a space below for the customers’ legs to rest. I ordered the shrimp pad thai, which came in a large portion. In addition to having the easily recognizable sweet and sour flavors found in most pad thai dishes, Khan Toke’s seemed more authentic than the other restaurants’ due to the distinct spiciness incorporated into the dish. Although the meal was excellent, because of the extremely slow service and far distance from Redwood, the restaurant received fewer stars than R’noh Thai. Khan Toke is the best option for the more adventurous Thai lovers because its authenticity might be uncomfortable for people wanting a more typical American restaurant experience. 

Covered in sauce, shrimp pad thai from Khan Toke is a customer favorite.

My Thai (4)

Residing on bustling Fourth Street, My Thai is a great option if you ever find yourself in San Rafael. I ordered chicken pad thai and sticky rice at the restaurant, though the restaurant was accommodating to take-out orders in the same way as R’noh Thai. Though the sticky rice was the perfect consistency,  the pad thai had an excessive amount of peanuts and the noodles were drier and less flavorful as a result. Overall, the pad thai did not amaze me, especially compared to the spicier, saucier noodles of Khan Toke and R’noh Thai, but the ambience almost made up for the food’s slightly lacking flavor. Colorful pillows and decorations created a fun environment to sit down and enjoy dinner with friends and family. 

Thep Lela (3.5 stars)

Located within Strawberry village, Thep Lela has a relaxed ambience ranging from seated cushions to more traditional chairs. The service was accommodating and the decorations of traditional Thai art were beautiful. Once again, I ordered the pad thai, but was not very impressed. The noodles had more vegetable garnish than any of the other restaurants, which I personally did not enjoy, and there was less sauce. There was less chicken than noodle as well, which was disappointing considering it was the most expensive pad thai ordered of all the restaurants. However, the different types of dishes ordered by other customers that passed my table had a more mouthwatering aroma and looked like they might have been a better option than the pad thai. Overall, the pad thai was similar to My Thai’s, but the portions were smaller while the cost was higher.