Sayonara, Suriya!

If Suriya Thai is really gone, as was reported today, it is another in a long line of now-kaput neighborhood restaurants I always meant to go to but never did. This one looked tried and true, like it’d been there forever and was there to stay. So I kept putting it off.


Photo by mybloodyself.

31 thoughts on “Sayonara, Suriya!”

  1. @Allan You didn’t miss much. Last time I was there an entire family of rats scurried to the back somewhere. They were just hanging out in the dining room and the hostess tried to pretend they weren’t there. I’m all for family-run neighborhood restaurants but they need to meet minimum standards like everybody else. I wonder if La Rondalla will ever reopen…

  2. I couldn’t imagine how this place stayed open; their prices were really high (for Thai food, and there is no shortage of that in this city) and the quality wasn’t stellar. $11 for pad thai? Um, no.

  3. i had a bunch of good dinners at suriya! i dont remember any rats, but i had not been there in a while, and i always order delivery from dusit thai

    i thought it was a good place and just recommended to a friend, though he likes pad thai better

    at least its not the only thai place around

  4. they used to be really good, family run, and the woman who was the chef (i think “suriya”) used to give cooking classes.

    they made a chicken in basil sauce (kai chicken basil) that was other worldly. i mean SO good. i am talking 3 – 4 years ago…

    service was never that great in my pinion, though we usually got it to go (cash / check only…pain in the ass cause it WAS on the pricey side).

    things change. ah well. i had honey roasted duck at osha last night that was pretty good.

  5. I used to go often, and although I haven’t been in at least a year, Suriya used to be great. I took a chef friend there once, and he said it was the best Thai he had had outside of Thailand.
    And yes, Peter – the pumpkin curry! That was delicious! They also had some interesting regional favorites. In my experience the service always seemed quite good, but perhaps that was because for awhile I was acquainted with someone on the waitstaff through other circles.
    Too bad they are gone! Perhaps it was a combination of the economy and the predominance of Osha just up the street…

  6. I’ve lived next door to Suriya for 4 years, and only ate there twice. I TRIED to go there on many occasions, as a matter of fact I went with a group of 6 last week, but since they don’t take credit cards, we had to eat elsewhere. Considering their exorbitant prices, accepting credit cards seems like a necessity. Even with their bland over priced food, I may have still eaten there once a week if wasn’t cash only.

  7. This place was actually one of the best Thai restaurants i’d been to in the city, they had some almost fusion like dishes and the food was on point every time, sad to see them go.

  8. You forgot about the best appetizer yet, money bags! They were tasty and had a silly name to boot.

    I always enjoyed my meals there and never had any problems with the service.

  9. I never did try the Cuban place that preceded it. It always looked so forlorn. Now Suriya has come and gone. Wonder if I’ll ever step foot in that location….

  10. Not the cleanest place, but the best Thai food I’ve ever had and a really nice staff. Yes, the pad thai was expensive, but you don’t go to Suriya for pad thai! You go there for the inventive dishes, like stuffed mushrooms, pumpkin curry etc. You will be missed…..

  11. This place was really good. Yes on the money bags and pumpkin curry. it was always really busy whenever i went, but I only went three times.

    All of that just to say, i won’t miss it, there is way too much Thai, and not enough Soul Food in the Mish.

  12. This was a better than average Thai place with an inventive menu but it was a bit of a walk so I didn’t make it there much.

    Besides Osha, where else is there good Thai in the Mission?

  13. when i first moved to SF in 1992, i lived at the corner of 16th & guerrero, over what is now the eyeglass store (and was then a punk rock squat).

    we used to walk over to Bangkok 16 a few times a week, and eat gai ga prow. the guy that owned the place, Terry, and his family lived upstairs. we watched his kids grow up….

    pretty sure they’re all still there, though we don’t go there anymore. i remember it really depended on the day & which cousin was cooking, food-wise.

    that joint is really a neighborhood institution. need to go back soon…

  14. Yeah, this place was god and the presentations beautiful. I am sorry to hear it’s gone. As far as exorbitant prices go, geez, Osha is way worse.

  15. GOOD not God ^^^^ I mean, I see the divinity in plenty of things but papaya salad, even at its best, isn’t really one of them..

  16. @monkeeknifefight @tk Saigon Saigon is SORELY missed in this house. What was that Italian place a block away…owned and run by the coked-up dude that was always on his cell phone? He was good, and cheaper than Vogalonga (sp?).

  17. Good Cambodian in La Lengua — Ankor Borei on Mission @ Cortland. Easy transition from Thai, with more chilies and fish. Haven’t tried the mock chicken but it’s there for those who like their food to fool them.

  18. I notice some of the people ripping Suriya don’t appear to have eaten there.Of course, the comment boards are always filled with people making off hand comments that are lacking in perspective. Overpriced? The portions were ENORMOUS. One entree and an appetizer could be split with a date and both would be full.
    Plenty of food and not expensive. Bland? wtf? The food was hardly bland there, and was entirely unique to Thai restaurants in the city, ranging from the North Thai curries to the various saute and stir fry dishes. True, the “Cash Only” deal was a hindrance, but overall this was one of the most unique Thai restaurants in SF and Mr. Suriya (the chef and cooking instructor…not a lady) was a very nice chef and owner.

    I don’t know what to say about the rats, but probably a lot of the editor’s favorite eateries have the same issue.

  19. Thank you, Fergus! I’ll miss Suriya, too; it was unpretensious, unusual and friendly. Thai Samosas were popular with small kids. Suriya was a welcome open business on the walk south from BART.

  20. Aw, I’m sad. I’ve only been to SF twice and ate there both times, mainly because it was so good the first time. (I’m the guy that took the photo)

  21. I might be off but the two times I ate at Osha but I felt it was overpriced and way too “showy” with the whole space. If I want all the hype, I’d just go to Osha on Union Street. Is the Valencia Street location any better?

    For Thai near me, I using go to Pad Thai on Mission near Cortland (there is another place near by too), Thai House in the Castro (a bit further) or Sawatdee. As johnny0 said, Angor Borei (Cambodian) on Mission near Cortland is really tasty and the owner (I think?) makes the place feel like home. Try the pumpkin curry.

    As for that area, how is Toad’s? I’ve only been once but it seems to be on an isolated block and I’ve never seen it packed. I was happy with my meal but I haven’t been back since it’s somewhat out of the way.

  22. About La Rondalla: In November, I was on a bus in Laos and met a man from SF. Random. He was good friends with the late proprietor of Rondalla. Apparently the deceased’s son was left with the family business and properties and is supposedly remodeling, but not very earnest in his endeavors. Has rental income and not a lot of motivation to run a business.

    Sucks for us. I wish he would turn the space over to someone useful.

  23. Suriya thai has just been reborn at 1532 Howard St btwn 11th & 12th. Talked to Suriya yesterday, and he said they moved due to landlord issues. Who knows? But they have pumpkin curry on the lunch menu–yum!

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