Thai Iced Tea
Thai Iced Coffee
Pretty Hot Wings – Man Pla Fish Sauce, Garlic Marinade, Tamarind, Sriracha Glaze
Fried Quail with Chili Jam and Sticky Rice
Khao Yum Kai Dao – Fried Duck Eggs over Rice, Chili Jam, Peanuts, Shallots, Mint, Cilantro
Black Rice Pudding – Warm coconut, burnt coconut sugar caramel, salty coconut cream, puffed rice + peanut + sesame praline
Owned by Pim Techamuanvivit and reportedly offering authentic tastes of cuisine from her native Thailand prepared from the sustainable farms of San Francisco it was only after a security guard of the Parc 55 Hotel showed me the way that I finally located Kin Khao and with the restaurant nearly empty during an early Monday lunch it was to my choice of tables that I was soon seated, the blogger-turned-restaurateur mostly walking the room and tending to beau David Kinch while a fledgling staff offered up a menu substantially shortened from that offered at night. Modern yet pleasant in design with wood and white dominating the décor as a small kitchen tinkered and clinked just out of sight it was perhaps five minutes before the afternoon’s sole server arrived at my side and having already noted the missing mushroom jar I inquired to its availability only to be denied, a pair of lunch specials offered along with eight other savories from which I selected three along with the menu’s lone sweet. Stating up front that both the lunch menu and he himself were ‘new’ it was with an error that my waiter first brought Thai Iced Tea in place of the coconut tinged cold brew I’d requested and although bright with tamarind a few sips was enough, the creamy java far better fitting my palate as well as the opening volley of three funky wings themselves quite hefty in the orange Indian aromatic amidst a sauce of acid and spice. Explaining that I was really in no hurry as the meal marched on it was next in the daily special of fried quail that I partook and although quite crispy the flavor itself lacked, a touch of Pim’s chili jam enlivening things a bit while slightly sweet rice was a filler par for the course. Moving onward to one of five items under the section labeled “eats” it was with admitted indecision that I selected between the Khao Mun Gai and Khao Yum Kai Dao but eventually opting for crispy duck eggs over the chef-recommended ‘chicken fat fried rice’ I can only assume I made the right choice, the runny yolks acting to meld a multitude of complex flavors while bold textures arrived in each bite. At this point admittedly eavesdropping on the conversation of the doubly Michelin Starred chef just two seats away as he chatted with a friend about the ballgame they were in town to attend it was just under an hour and ten minutes after I sat down that my final plate arrived and served steaming from the kitchen though I cannot attest to just how ‘authentic’ any of it was I can definitively declare the rice pudding as excellent, an $8 portion big enough to share served to be dressed like an American sundae proving to be one of the top two or three takes on the dish I’ve experienced to date.
RECOMMENDED: Rice Pudding, Khao Yum Kai Dao.
AVOID: Fried Quail
TIP: Still new in their lunch service and featuring a far more extensive menu at night those looking to experience Kin Khao at its best may be better served to book a dinner reservation or call in advance to inquire about specific plates.