Chef Pim Techamuanvivit, fresh off seeing her Bangkok restaurant Nahm land on the World's 50 Best list, and several years after seeing her Union Square restaurant Kin Khao become the first Thai restaurant in San Francisco to earn a Michelin star, has just opened a much larger sister restaurant called Nari in Japantown's Hotel Kabuki.
"I don't want to open another Kin Khao, because what fun is that?" Techamuanvivit told Eater, as the ambitious new spot makes its debut.
The restaurant opened for dinner on Friday, as the Chronicle reports, with lunch service on the way, and the airy, two-level, 100-seat restaurant off of Post Street is a big undertaking for Techamuanvivit, who now has a growing mini-empire that also includes an outpost at SFO called Kamin. The chef, author, longtime blogger, and restaurateur says she wants to show Americans more dimensions of Thai cuisine — and more than she was able to do with the very tiny kitchen at Kin Khao. "Here you’ll see a different side of my food — a little more feminine and delicate," she tells the Chronicle, and some example dishes include mat hor, a dish of minced pork, shrimp and peanuts that's typically served over pineapple, but here will he served over local stone fruit in the summer; pla haeng tangmao, a dish of crispy trout over watermelon; a lamb shank massaman curry with nectarines; and a whole Cornish game hen doused in rawaeng curry sauce.
She's also reportedly devised her own vegan version of fish sauce, made with seaweed, to please the non-carnivores who want to taste her food.
Eater brings us the full menu today, and has a set of interior shots as well. The expensive new buildout of the street-facing space is part of a major overhaul at the Hotel Kabuki, which earlier this year debuted a handsome new lobby bar. The interior of Nari is lined with warm woods, concrete, and lots of greenery, with a wall of windows that brings in light from outside. (The space, looking way different, used to be home to O Izakaya Lounge.)
Today is opening day for Kin Khao sister restaurant Nari https://t.co/shSrNGPeAw— Chronicle Food (@SFC_FoodHome) August 9, 2019
The entrees are all family-style, and priced between $24 and $54. There is also a bar with unique cocktails from former Whitechapel barkeep Megan Daniel-Hoang, all of which Pim has named after female characters from Thai literature, like the Kaki (cognac, banana liqueur, amber vermouth, amaro, and saffron), and the Sita (whiskey, toasted brown rice, benedictine, amaro, and Angostura bitters).
Nari is now open for dinner nightly, 5:30 to 10 p.m. Look for reservations here.