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“Superb Thai Cuisine”

Amarin Thai Restaurant
Ranked #711 of 4,773 Restaurants in San Diego
Price range: $8 - $15
Cuisines: Thai
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Superb Thai Cuisine”
Reviewed June 3, 2013

I finally dragged myself away from my San Diego Oceanaire obsession (see my other review) to a less expensive but excellent Thai restaurant outside the gaslamp district.

This restaurant doesn't need yet another rave review. They fill all of their tables because the locals know they're in for a treat, and it can be moderately priced if you choose wisely and get their special prices. Make sure you reserve your table in advance.

I ordered Tamarind Fish (about $16.00), and it was all I could have hoped for and more. I hesitated before ordering something that was fried, but remembered that when a good Thai chef fries a fish, or crabs, they come out light and not oily. This was certainly the case with this fish. It was crispy but still tasted like fish. I suspect that was the case because they started with a fresh fish and not something pulled out of the freezer. The sauce was one of those you hope to get in a Thai restaurant--exotic, slightly spicy, and enchanting.

If you arrive and order before 7, even on Saturdays, you can get their happy hour specials. The table card is misleading, however. Not all bottles of wine are 50% off before 7; just certain ones are, so you need to ask which ones are included. They also have special prices for appetizers and bar drinks before 7, so take a look. Of course, many of the bars and restaurants on University Ave. also have fabulous happy hour deals.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank taifu379
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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93 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Sugar Land, Texas
Level 5 Contributor
74 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Hillcrest area Thai”
Reviewed May 16, 2013

Loved it! Great food. Had the Tom Yum soup, vegetarian curry puffs, then one of the house specialities - Mambo Mambo Chicken with red curry and mangos. Fabulous! Staff were all dressed in brightly colored traditional gowns. Waiters and owner were very pleasant and courteous but not intrusive. Good wines. Wonderful experience! Fun area outside on streets for people watching after dinner too.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Wayne B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Destrehan, Louisiana
Level 6 Contributor
155 reviews
117 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
“tasteful decor, ethnic dress, and spectacular cuisine”
Reviewed April 29, 2013

From the outside, this place looks like a little hole in the wall. But once you're inside, the tasteful decor, ethnic dress, and spectacular cuisine transport you to another world.

My "Thai Princess" appetizer was a delightful self-assembly of grilled shrimp, peanut, ginger, red onions, lime, roasted coconut shavings, wrapped in fresh spinach leaves with ginger sauce.Highly recommended, good to share. Tip: do not omit the lime wedges; I know it doesn't sound right but you even eat the peel.

My green curry fish might possibly be the best entree they serve. It is a large serving of very tender steaks of a mild white fish in green curry sauce with both crisp and stringy veggies. The curry saturates all, bringing about maximum flavor. Served with white or brown rice, you can specify your preferred level of heat; I can testify that level 5 is tasty without being "challenging". Since I normally prefer spicy food, next time I would get level 6 or 7.

Diners are dressed casual to sporty. Tables just outside the entrance are covered by an awning and provided with portable heat on chilly evenings. Service is neither rushed nor slow, and although it is not cheap, prices are very reasonable for the quality and quantity of what you get. ($35 incl. tax for this meal, with a glass of wine)

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Thank StCharlesLA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level 6 Contributor
78 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Amazing food!”
Reviewed April 21, 2013

Delicious! Flavorful! Nice presentation! Good romantic atmosphere! Good Hillcrest location! Probably $$-$$$ depending on what you get! Great service. They know their menus! I love this place. This is my second or third time going and have never been disappointed yet. They also do a great job of food segregation as I am vegan...so great vegan options. They acknowledged that!

Visited April 2013
Thank Vanessa R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego,ca
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Almost don't want to tell you abt it”
Reviewed March 14, 2013

we're locals who eat here abt twice a month. A family member who has lived in Asia for decades told us abt the restaurant and they know great asian food! The best advice I can give is To go to the back of the menu (skip the standard "touristy" dishes..except the appetizer spring rolls) and order off "curries"... No this isn't Indian curry which we don't like. you select "red" , "green" or "yellow" sauce..and then decide if you want beef, chicken, shrimp, or just veggie. The "green" is a basil sauce, yellow a more hardy sauce with potatoes in it..we love them all but the green basil shrimp curry is heavenly! also in the back of the menu are the noodle dishes to which you add the type of meat you want- the noodles are perfectly tender and mix well with sauces and meat. Prices are reasonable and it's a very pretty restaurant, with white table cloths, beautiful Thai wall hanging and wait staff in gorgeous Tai silk garb. This is popular and weekends it's packed, ESP holidays. We eat here week days..so, go and enjoy.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank KatharineE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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