Sweet Basil Thai Cuisine

  • Veg-options Veg-options
    ( 11 reviews )
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415-440-8344
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3221 Mission St (at Bernal Heights), San Francisco, California, USA, 94109

Serves meat, vegan options available. Dishes are marked if can be made vegan. Small, simple modern decor with dark wood furniture. Previously named Thai Idea and located in Polk St. Still has original large vegan menu which, as of March 2013, does not appear on website. Open Mon-Fri 11:00am-3:00pm, 5:00pm-10:30pm, Sat-Sun 12:00pm-10:30pm.

Categories: Ovo, Thai, Take-out, Catering, Non-veg

11 Reviews

First Review by SynthVegan

Good not great - Edit

This place works if you are fixing to satisfy your Thai craving. Decent and ok (cheap happy hour!), but definitely not your Thai place you take out of town guests to.

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Okay Food, Great Everything Else - Edit

The place is nice. The staff is friendly. The dish presentation phenomenal (an orchid flower with every plate). But we only like 2 out of 3 dishes - spicy mock duck basil was good; pad thai (bland) and spicy tofu green beans (kind of bbq, but not supposed to be) were not. Given the number of restaurants in San Fran (I don't live there), I'd probably try a different one next time.

Pros: nice staff, good ambiance

Cons: only liked 1 out 3 dishes

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Love This Place! Mostly Vegan! - Edit

Really great, I could go for some Thai iced tea right now. All their menu is vegan except the desserts. Really cute and friendly and not overpriced.

1 Response
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FoodAndLoathing 09 Oct 2013 - This place is not mostly vegan anymore, and not vegetarian anymore. They've added animal's flesh to the menu but they still have their vegan menu if you ask for it.  


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A diamond in the rough - Edit

We discovered this little spot a couple of months ago via a recommendation from my barber. It's located in a fairly sketchy neighborhood, so maybe our expectations weren't as high as they might have been, but we came away completely charmed. After several follow-up visits, we have yet to try anything we didn't enjoy, but the real standout has been the Pumpkin Curry, which is kabocha pumpkin (basically a winter squash) and veggies in a red curry sauce that has fantastic flavor with just a hint of spiciness. Every dish is a visual masterpiece, looking like they were created with an artist's brush. The menu features a lot of faux-meats (not really our thing), but there are loads of veggie and whole-food options, too. The decor is clean, casual and comfortable, service is quietly efficient and the prices are extremely reasonable. We really can't recommend Thai Idea highly enough.

Pros: Presentation, Value, Flavor

Cons: Neighborhood, No alcohol

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Filling and tasty - Edit

Excellent service and huge servings.

Pros: Value, Taste, Portion size

Cons: Rough area, Limited staff

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Very Very Good! - Edit

We stayed in San Francisco for only 4 days. When we discoverd thai idea we decided to have diner again the next day: it was soooo good!
good creative presentation, good prices, really good food and a nice waitress!

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Pretty Good - Edit

I had read about this place on happycow and decided to eat here on my last trip to San Francisco. Here's my Thai Idea review.

It's a little restaurant with a good size menu, all Thai food. My husband and I got a tom kah soup (with coconut milk), $7.95, and a masaman curry to share (sweet, yellow, potatoes, veggies, peanuts), $8.95. And red rice, separate charge.

The presentation was very nice, and the portions fair. Flavorful.

The menu is vegan friendly, some items contain egg and/or dairy. Everything is marked.

Pros: fresh and hot, waitstaff eager to please, nice presentation

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Fresh tasty thai food - Edit

We got here 5 minutes before closing and they were very nice. Food was very delicious! I want to go back soon! Coconut soup wa super good and curries too.

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Finally, a Veggie Thai place in SF!!! Thank U God! - Edit

Just had a meal at Thai Idea that featured probably the best curry I've had in years. I ordered the pumpkin curry with faux chicken and it was buttery, melt-in-your-mouth goodness. I also got the white rice (which sadly, is NOT Thai sticky rice boooo!...just normal rice.) and a nice vegan Thai iced tea in an extremely tall and narrow glass. A+ for presentation on the whole and for the great decor. I DO wish they would frost the street windows so you couldn't see the unattractive sights and passerby hobos outside the doors, but inside it was modern and chic, the service was really great from the chef and waitress/hostess, and my partner enjoyed the meal as much as I did. We both agreed, this is our new favorite place! The menu is about 10-15% overpriced compared to other Thai places, but it's worth it for the taste (it's like buttery coconut heaven!) and the peace of mind you get from knowing there are no fish or meat products in your food. Now, if only they would replace the white rice with sticky rice, I'd send them a love-letter...

Pros: Food is Incredible, Excellent Service, Modern, Exotic Decor

Cons: Street Metered Parking, Many homeless wandering area, Slightly overpriced (but worth it)

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Decent Thai restaurant in bay area - Edit

Our family went to this place few days ago. Overall experience was good. Wing bomb appetizer was excellent. We had Tom Yum Veggie and Tom Kha soups. Tom Yum Veggie soup was very good. However Tom Kha with shrimp was average. Unfortunately they came back after about 15 minutes and said they did not have the dish my wife ordered. Thai IDEA beef was below average and greasy. May go back another time to see if we get better experience.
Updated from previous review on Friday December 02, 2011

Second visit - much better experience from lunch time. gracious hostess and excellent service. awesome tom yum & tom kha soups and wing bomb again. bangok duck was crispy and well presented. lamb yellow curry was outstanding. panang avocado shrimp was really good with an excellent sauce. spicy green beans with mock chicken was kind of greasy and not very good unfortunately.
all in all, definitely worth more visits when craving for vegetarian thai
Updated from previous review on Saturday December 03, 2011

Pros: veg thai option in bay area, excellent appetizers, wing bomb

Cons: expensive

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Thai Idea - Edit

Thai Idea is a small restaurant located in the Tenderloin District. When we arrived the place was packed and three of us ended up by having to share a two-person table - we were good sports about it. We began our meal with two appetizers, both of which I felt were average (mainly because of the sauces that accompanied them), Crispy Spring Rolls and Crispy Tofu. I ordered the vegetable combination with seitan instead of tofu - it was good but I felt the sauce could have used more flavor. My boyfriend ordered the best meal at the table though, the volcano beef - it was very spicy and incredibly flavorful, that dish alone warrants a 5 star rating. But alas, when looking at the big picture Thai Idea is really a 3.75-4. I'd certainly go back again and would order the volcano beef in a heartbeat.

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