Thai Idea Vegetarian

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 10 reviews )

710 Polk St, San Francisco, California, USA, 94109

Vegetarian, mostly vegan small Thai restaurant. Affordable and not super fancy, but a step up from the standard. Focus on presentation so each dish looks colorful. Mostly classic Thai food but with re-interpreted flavors and ingredient combinations. Open Mon-Fri 11:00am-3:00pm, Mon-Thu 5:00pm-10:00pm, Fri 5:00pm-10:30pm, Sat-Sun 12:00pm-10:00pm.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Thai, Take-out

10 Reviews

First Review by tartarugafechada

Excellent find in San Francisco - Edit

What a delightful find! So many options, the (soy) Thai iced tea, vegan "duck" curry, are delicious. Had the Thai Crepe for dessert, highly recommend!

Pros: tons of choices, 100% vegan

Cons: default spiciness level is not very spicy, be sure

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nice price/presentation - Edit

Pros: Excellent price and presentation. Vegan options clearly labeled (there's some egg and cheese in some dishes). Nice menu selection, several veggie meat options for each dish. Friendly service.

Cons: I was a little disappointed in the Pad Kee Mao. It was rather bland with some large, clunky raw vegetables I ate around. I'll try a curry next time.

Pros: Price, Presentation

Cons: Based on one visit, a little bland

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Little Thai Place - Edit

Simple decor, really good food. Tom kha full of fresh crunchy veggies although broth was a little on the sweet side. Pretty plates with garnishes. If you want spicy, just ask and they will turn up the heat. Small beer selection, did not see any wine. Just a note on getting there, we arrived by cab and chose to walk back to Market on Ellis, not a good route, best to go up to OFerrell or Geary.

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Everything was good - Edit

Many tasty things here! We had the wing bomb for starter, which was excellent and came with a juicy sauce. Then spicy catfish and Bangkok duck for mains, both of which were delish. The tamarind sauce for the duck is kinda sweet in a really nice way.

Has various teas incl. Thai iced tea with soy milk and a lychee iced tea which was nice!

Didn't have dessert but I was told they're all vegan even though not explicitly marked on the menu.

Pros: wing bombs, spicy catfish, Bangkok duck and probably everything on the menu!

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Full Flavor Thai!! :) - Edit

Finally a vegan Thai spot with full flavor!! Tom kha was spot on! I tried the Panang curry with shrimp and ordered it medium spicy. Great dish, certainly hot and that's coming from a person who always orders Thai spicy. Stick to mild if you have any question. Overall great spot and tons of vegan options off the menu, plus they will make anything vegan for the few items that have egg.

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Some of the best thai food outside Thailand - Edit

The Thai Idea Vegetarian is an excellent Thai restaurant! We went there for lunch. The service was excellent, super quick and very friendly! The menu was mostly vegan or vegan optional! The food tasted great, everything was tailored to each persons preference and very well presented.. Overall the experience was a v happy one

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Delicious with lots of variety - Edit

The menu is inventive, using thai cooking techniques and spices with vegetables and vegetable protein. It's not just a regular thai menu with tofu substituted for meat in all the dishes. There is a fair amount of "fake meat" -- which I don't like -- but plenty of other good options. My favorite dishes are the Tom Yum soup, the golden cauliflower and the corn tower.

Pros: Delicious food, Good value, Friendly staff

Cons: Fake meat dishes

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Not Recommended if you have Food Sensitivities - Edit

I asked if the two appetizers I was considering contained gluten and my server said no, yet upon receiving them at the table they appeared to. I then asked what the outside coating on the Golden Cauliflower was and she said flour, to which I asked what type of flour. She responded, "regular flour", to which I said would contain wheat, which had gluten. She was very confused and brought over a second server, who then said the only appetizer that was gluten free was the spring roll if I did not eat the peanut sauce. They proceeded to tell me however that the Thai Samosas which our table ordered were also gluten free, and that the outer coating was made from potatoes (I was skeptical, but ate two anyway). I felt like vomiting within the hour, and have had continued abdominal distress since eating there last night. I also feel that they are using a chemical (such as MSG or similar), as I began to have an allergic reaction within 1 1/2 hours after my meal, which also contained the Green Papaya Salad and Tom Kha Veggie soup (which I ordered without mushrooms, but got them anyway). My face began swelling and "buzzing", and I had a strong pressure headache (which still lingers 15 hours later). I also woke up with itching and hives on various parts of my body.
In addition to these negative physical reactions from the food and lack of knowledge of the servers, the food really was not tasty. I found the taste inferior to similar dishes I have been enjoying at other Thai restaurants for years.

Cons: Allergic Reaction to Food, Lack of Knowledge from Servers, Poor Taste

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Beautiful presentation! - Edit

Thai Idea must be the brainchild of Thai art students instagramming their food before that was a thing, the presentation here is AMAZING! Every dish is beautifully, sometimes even a bit outrageously, plated. The restaurant inside also is quite nice -- they have classical music playing and a water fountain. It's still casual though, with prices at the same level as other casual thai restaurants.

There are two downsides -- it's in the Tenderloin so you have to get through a sketchy block to get there, and the taste of some dishes is disappointingly not as good as they look.

The service is very good and quick, and they are happy to prepare takeout if you call ahead or order online.

Overall, it's consistently colorful, tasty, good service, fun to visit and great that the whole menu is vegetarian/vegan optional.

They do have a lot of faux meats but there are also just-vegetable dishes.
Updated from previous review on Sunday November 10, 2013

Pros: Plating is phenomenal, Inexpensive, Lots of fresh vegetables

Cons: Neighborhood, Some dishes salty or lacking flavor

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Beautiful, flavorful food - Edit

Great small and surprisingly refined Thai place in the middle of the Tenderloin, Thai Idea's food is beautiful and flavorful. Try the Firecracker Balls, a faux Tuna styled sushi roll that is pankoed and fried. The curries and noodle dishes are all very good. I especially like the pumpkin curry and the pad thai. Last time I was there, the chef was experimenting with some new flavors in beautiful arrangements and was passing them out to diners to try. Definitely a spot to try if you are nearby.

Pros: Firecracker Balls, Super friendly staff

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