★★★ (Very Good)
3843 Richmond Street (between University and Essex), Hillcrest, 619-296-6056; amarinthaisandiego.com
HOURS: Lunch and dinner daily except Thanksgiving; Monday–Thursday 11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m., 5:00–10:00 p.m.; Fridays until 11:00 p.m.; Saturday noon–11:00 p.m.; Sunday noon–10:00 p.m.
PRICES: Starters, soups, salads $3.59–$13; entrées $8–$23; desserts $5–$6. Weekday lunch specials $5–$9.
CUISINE & BEVERAGES: Inventive, elegant Thai cuisine; a wonderful wine list (lots of French bottlings) at merciful prices.
PICK HITS: Thai Princess appetizer; mixed seafood Potak soup; Mad Fish. Good bets: Little Mermaid appetizer; Gangped Ped Yang (duck with red curry and fruits); any dish with fried sole; rack of lamb Massaman curry; desserts.
NEED TO KNOW: Reserve for prime time. For the most interesting entrées, look to Oceanaire and Specialties rather than the Traditional Thai curries or the noodles and rice. Loads of vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free options. Peanuts used. Dishes described on menu as spicy actually are.