Tucked into an alcove of the unprepossessing Parc 55 hotel, this restaurant won't win any awards in the décor department-it's spare and casual, with tables set with chopstick canisters and bowls of chili oil. But when it comes to delivering authentically layered, fiery Thai flavor with a produce-driven northern California flair, it has no equal. Kin Khao reconcepts dishes from across Thailand to take advantage of the market's bounty, from a rich and creamy hor mok curry mousse starring locally sourced wild mushrooms to an unexpected take on nam tok, with meaty scarlet runner beans dressed in a tantalizing mixture of lime juice, chilies, caramelized shallots, rice powder, and herbs. More traditional options include classic Chiang Mai-style khao soi, a flavorful curry-soup with chicken, egg noodles and pickled mustard greens, and a Thai-Chinese mashup of flat rice noodles stir-fried with locally made tofu and XO sauce. Needless to say, those avoiding spicy food or craving plain old pad Thai should look elsewhere. But if you're a straight-outta-Bangkok diehard, grab a cocktail, get a friendly server to guide you to the latest and greatest, and strap in for a wild-and delicious-ride.
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