The New York Times has updated its nationwide Restaurant List for 2023, and two new San Francisco restaurants have been added, replacing two that were on the list last year.
It's the third year for this somewhat inscrutable selection of restaurants across the country, chosen by New York Times food editors, which is neither a best-new-restaurants list nor a particularly helpful or comprehensive list of great spots. It's billed as "The 50 places in the United States that we're most excited about right now," and about half of them are new. Also, it bears no resemblence to the 2021 list, or the 2022 list, so it's not like the Eater 38 where it's being updated incrementally — it's just going to be a new 50 every year I guess.
The 2021 list featured three SF restaurants, only one of them new. There was Anchovy Bar, the State Bird Provisions spinoff which opened during the pandemic, and then there were Mister Jiu's and Nari, highlighting high-end Chinese and Thai cuisine respectively.
And for the 2023, SF again gets two slots, which go to the two-year-old, much-buzzed-about ramen tasting menu restaurant Noodle in a Haystack, which grew out of a pop-up; and Prik Hom, the new Thai spot from previously Michelin-starred chef Jim Suwanpanya. Both restaurants are tiny, and both are out on Geary Boulevard in the Richmond District.
Just as the Chronicle did previously, the Times homes in on the dessert course at Prik Hom, a scoop of young coconut ice cream that is "perfumed by one of two dozen traditional candles that Mr. Suwanpanya brought back from Thailand."
And of Noodle in a Haystack — which also landed on Bon Appetit's Best New Restaurants list last week — the Times writes, "Such a globally recognizable dish [as ramen] shouldn’t hold many surprises at this point, but if you find yourself here, the ramen will leave you delightfully gobsmacked."
While Noodle in a Haystack has gotten plenty of attention in its first year as a brick-and-mortar restaurant, including a place on former critic Soleil Ho's list of Top Splurge Restaurants, Prik Hom has mostly flown under the radar — though it did get a mention in the new Michelin Guide.
Noodle in a Haystack - 4601 Geary Blvd. - Reservations for November to be released October 8 at 9 p.m. on Tock.
Prik Hom - 3226 Geary Blvd. - Reservations here.
Top image: Mussels at Prik Hom, via Instagram