Maybe your idea of Thai cuisine has been limited to greasy takeout versions of pad thai and pineapple fried rice. Or maybe you've been eating sissy Berkeleyfied Thai food with all-organic ingredients but surprisingly little heat — or much flavor at all, to put it bluntly. If so, you really ought to give Chai Thai Noodle a try. This is real-deal, authentic stuff — nothing else in the East Bay comes close. At Chai Thai, the flavors are bold: Thai chilis that pack serious heat, sweet-sour tamarind, the characteristic pungency of liberally-applied fish sauce. Even though the restaurant has "noodle" in its name, most of our favorite dishes don't have noodles in them at all: the seriously spicy larb "salad," with bits of fried catfish; the grilled pork neck appetizer special that shows up on the menu from time to time; and the slow-cooked, tender pork leg stew, which you can get over rice or noodles.
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