Tuesday, June 28, 2011

O-zone Thai

After work yesterday, I hopped on the train and headed up to the city to meet my boyfriend J for dinner and a walk. We strolled along the waterfront, there along the Embarcadero, up to the Ferry Building and then back towards the station. It was a typical June evening in San Francisco: damp, chilly, and windy enough that I was very thankful for my wool beret and shawl. Still, a beautiful evening to be strolling around with such pleasant company.

For dinner, we ended up at O-zone Thai Restaurant and Lounge. All the tables were empty when we first arrived, though all the bar stools were occupied with people taking advantage of happy hour. Our table was in the back corner of the restaurant, by the windows, which was nice.

J had us start off with the sweet corn patties (one of his favorites--seems to be at every Asian restaurant here in SF). They were very much like apple fritters, just with corn in place of apples. Not undelicious, but very starch- and oil-heavy. Not worth it, in my book, so I shan't be ordering them again. We split a green papaya salad, my entree was the special spicy clams, and J got the BBQ beef. The papaya salad had a lot of dressing, and all the ingredients were mixed up together. Tasted delicious.

I was given a gigantic plate full of clams, in their shells, with onions and peppers and Thai basil all in a spicy sauce. It was rather messy, scooping the clams out of the shells, but added a nice visceral element to the experience. I was rather worried, however: I've always read that when you cook shellfish, like clams or mussels, you should not serve any that do not open. About half of the clams on my plate were fully open, another quarter were open just a bit, and the final quarter were still well shut. Really, I don't think that last 25% should have been on my plate at all. I didn't eat those, and I was a little hesitant to eat the ones that were open enough to get my fork in. No signs of food poisoning, so it was all right in the end.

Our waitress had to struggle through the language barrier. It took a long time for J to get his drink from the bar, even though the joint was basically empty. The hot tea was a very bland green tea, though the waitress did check the hot water and bring me a refill without me having to ask. She was also correct in informing us that their "medium" spicy was the equivalent of "hot" spicy at other restaurants--medium turned out to be plenty spicy for us.

I won't go out of my way to return, but I wouldn't not go back again. Yes, the service lacked, but overall the food was very tasty and wonderfully spicy.

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