Best Elevated Thai Restaurant 

Sa Wooei Thai

Plenty of cities have drive-throughs. El Cerrito has a rare drive-under. Standing on a set of steel and concrete stilts approximately nine feet above San Pablo Avenue, Sa Wooei Thai may be among the Bay Area's more flood-proof restaurants. But don't treat this establishment like just another overpass. The tom kha gai soup alone is worth stopping by for. Rich with curry, coconut, tamarind, lemongrass, and galangal, and at only $9.95, it's an affordable, date-night dinner-and-a-show as the soup comes served in a flaming tureen. (Add prawns for $2 extra.) Be advised though, tom kha gai packs heat. Order a side of jasmine rice to cut the spice, or even better, multitask with dessert and get mango sticky rice for $8.95 at the same time. To call the overall experience divine might be a bit of a stretch, though only a very slight one. Diners are already nine feet closer to heaven.

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

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