Best Tom Yum - 2001
Yamo Thai Kitchen
If you live in the Mission, you may have walked past Yamo Thai Kitchen dozens of times without even noticing the place is there. This tiny, family-run spot is about as bare bones as it gets -- one counter, nine stools, a whole lot of to-go boxes, and a tom yum (Thai-style hot and sour) soup so potent it can shatter souls with one sip. Owner Nanthana Sorathorn isn't the least bit shy when it comes to using lemongrass and chili paste, and the result is a soup so ferocious it can annihilate colds in a super-piquant flash. It's not a subtle soup, but then, only a few things in this world (say, BASE jumping) will take you closer to the cutting edge of life.