As I was rolling down to a Filipino food tasting at the Civic Center yesterday afternoon, I came across a new restaurant on Polk between Eddy and Ellis named Thai Idea. I stopped to look at their menu and the friendly owner, who introduced himself as Pop, came out to say hi.

He told me he opened a bit over a week ago in the space that was formerly an unremarkable Mexican restaurant (that I have seriously no recollection of ever existing), and that his menu is 100% vegetarian and vegan. After a few minutes chatting on the sidewalk, he invited me inside to check out the brand new space. The furniture is nice and comfortable, and the walls are painted green, silver and gold with decorations handcrafted by Pop himself. The decor is definitely a notch above most other Thai and Asian places in the neighborhood.

Pop explained that his mom cooks super amazingly and that she owns two very successful Thai restaurants in Foster City and San Mateo, Basil Sweet and Basil Cha Cha respectively. He has also been working as the manager for the Osha Thai branch on 2nd Street and Howard, so he felt like it was really time to open a place of his own.

He’s vegetarian so he wanted to have a place offering a fully vegetarian menu with no meat dishes whatsoever and no fish or oyster sauce sneaking in. He also wanted to offer a different food experience from most other Thai places nearby, such as Zen Yai around the corner which we know most of you swear by. But in spite of the menu focus and the pretty interior design, Thai Idea’s prices are still all under $10, making it a great value for the dining experience.

And if you’re as excited as we are to check out Thai Idea, then you’re in luck! We’re giving away 10 Complimentary Dinner Entree vouchers to Tender Readers who leave a comment below telling us why they’d like to eat there. You have until this Wednesday October 5th so get commenting! The winners will be notified via email, thank you all for your interest in trying Thai Idea!

-Thai Idea Vegetarian Restaurant (Facebook)
-710 Polk St. San Francisco