Best Thai Barbecue - 2007
San Francisco Barbecue
Even though it's located between Texas and Missouri, the barbecue you'll find at San Francisco Barbecue isn't cooked in a pit and drenched in hot, spicy, tomatoey sauce. Instead, it's marinated in a mildly garlicky, mildly sweet brew flavored with fresh cilantro, and grilled to order in an open kitchen that's probably smaller than yours. The menu covers all manner of fish, fowl, and flesh: We like the thin-cut lamb chops, the little house-made beef meatballs, and the thick chunks of dense, chorizo-like Thai pork sausage. (Get some peanut sauce on the side.) The place is perhaps too modest in ambition for a cross-city trek by anybody but chowhounds who love a bargain (most everything on the menu is under $10; a whole barbecue chicken is $12.50). But if you're in the neighborhood, you can enjoy the dissonance between the pinky-beige dining room, decorated like a suburban kitchen with pottery roosters, bisque angels, and a welcome sign, and the rather more exotic food, including spicy seafood soup with lemongrass, and a dessert of mango with sweet rice and sesame seeds in coconut milk.