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Best Thai Restaurant: 

Bangkok Thai Cuisine: Reliable, not trendy

Bangkok Thai isn't fancy or trendy. If you're looking for a hip dining experience or the latest hot spot, this isn't it. Instead, it's a reliable favorite, a casual, affordable, yet always delicious neighborhood staple. The decor is homey and comfortable, but not without some authentic Thai charm, and the staff is helpful and friendly. Despite the restaurant's modest appearance, it offers some of the best Thai food around, a perfect solution the next time you're craving some tom kar gai or Panang beef. Conveniently located in Berkeley on University near Sacramento, it's perfectly busy -- never empty or overcrowded. Even on Friday nights you can count on an open table, and there's plenty of free parking. Favorite dishes include the stir-fried asparagus and crispy basil chicken -- both are specials -- and pad see-ew jay, an alternative to the ubiquitous pad Thai made with wide, wok-fried noodles, tofu, broccoli, and egg in a dark, sweet sauce.

Readers' Pick:
Tuk Tuk Thai Cafe
2468 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, 510-540-6360

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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