Restaurant Review: Social Thai in Ocean Beach

by on August 31, 2023 · 8 comments

in Ocean Beach

Restaurant Review

Social Thai
1830 Sunset Cliffs Blvd., Ste A
Ocean Beach 92107

By Judi Curry

One of the greatest things about being a restaurant reviewer are the calls I receive telling me about great (or not so great) experiences had at our local restaurants.

Last week I received a call from Margaret telling me of the wonderful soup she had at the “Social Thai” on Sunset Cliffs Blvd.  I used to eat at the Thai restaurant that was there before, so was very curious about the new one and told Margaret I would let her know when I was going to review it.

As thing happened, I had a free Monday because one of my foreign language students was not going to be home for dinner – that changed quickly – and I notified Margaret that I was going and wanted her to go with me.  Unfortunately, she was not in town so Steve, Chiako (my student that was not going to be home for dinner but was!) and I made sure it was open on Monday and went to try it out.  And we were all so happy that we did!!!!

The interior has changed since “Thai Time Bistro” was there. The chairs were so comfortable I would have liked to take them home with me!

Avocado Curry

We were greeted by Nanny, the new owner, and Brandon, the busboy, and told we could choose any seat we wanted.  There were several tables already occupied. Almost immediately Brandon was at our table with a water pitcher and filled up our glasses and handed us menu’s – food menus and drink and dessert menus. (By the way, Brandon is a student at Mission Bay High School.)  There was music being played – a bit too loud for me, but it was American music, not Asian, and both Steve and Chiako enjoyed it.

The menu is very extensive.  Both the front and back were filled with most of the offerings. There was a separate menu for drinks and desserts.  For example, there are “Small Plates/Appetizers”, Soups, Salads, Noodle Soup, Noodle and Fried Rice items, Chef’s Selections, Wok Classics, Curry Series, etc. ( I would also like to point out that I checked the menu on-line before we came and there is a noticeable difference in prices listed.  I think that the on-line prices are delivered prices  and in the restaurant the prices are less.)

There were so many choices it was difficult making our decisions, but with help from Nanny the decisions were made.  Steve ordered the Hawaiian Fried Rice – also called Pineapple Fried Rice – which was stir fry jasmine rice with chicken and shrimp, peas, carrots, onions, pineapple, raisin topped with cashew nut, green onion and cilantro.  It was $18.95.  (Look at the picture and see how much there was!)  We all tasted it and it was delicious.

Red Curry

Chiako, my student from Japan, had never had Thai food before so it was quite an experience for her.  She ordered the Red Curry, which was eggplant, bamboo shoots, made with coconut milk, bell peppers and basil.  Almost all of  the curries were listed at $13.95.  The curry was very, very good also, and Chiako finished it all!

I think I had the hardest time making a decision because there were so many items that appealed to me.  But I finally decided on the Avocado Curry, primarily because I had never had an avocado in curry before.  The original menu item described it as chicken and shrimp, avocado, peas and carrot, with spinach, basil with green curry sauce.

Hawaiian Fried Rice

However, as I was giving my order to Nanny I noticed that I could exchange the chicken for Squid for $3 more, and that is what I did. With the change I  was charged $19.95 which, by the way, was the most expensive curry offered.  And it was so good that after everyone tasted it I managed to finish it and didn’t bring any home!

There were over ten beverages listed on the menu, but we all elected just to have water.  There were many teas, but I was afraid there might be caffeine in them and it would interfere with my sleep. But I might go back for lunch and have the Raspberry, Peach or Passion Fruit iced tea for $4.50!

We all looked at the dessert menu, but were so full from the dinner that we decided to pass them by.  But the Sweet Rice with Mango and the Fried Banana with Honey were sure tempting!

Over all our experience was as good as it could be.  Brandon and Nanny made sure that our glasses of water were always filled; new people kept coming in but the tables were set up in such a way there was no interference from the others; the food was hot and inviting; and the feeling was one of contentment.

The only thing that I would change would be the volume of the music.  The music is nice, but as more and more people came in the volume of speaking had to get louder, and for those of us with a hearing deficiency it is disconcerting.  But that would never stop me from eating there again. Everything was truly delicious.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathleen Blavatt August 31, 2023 at 12:04 pm

Your last name “Curry” is perfect for reviewing Social Thai. I can’t wait to try their many curries. I had the Drunken Noodles at level 4 heat. Loved it, and the dish was a good size bowl full. My friends and I will be going back there!


JUDI August 31, 2023 at 12:36 pm

I have to say that this was one of better restaurants I have been to since Covid. The food was fresh; cooked just right. Be careful of the heat level. Their ranking is 1-10 and Steve had a 5. It was fun watching him try to pretend it wasn’t too hot! But it was good!


Jo Kalber August 31, 2023 at 3:11 pm

I’m going to have to try this restaurant! The food looks delicious! Thanks for the review.


GML September 1, 2023 at 8:52 am

Thanks for the review, we’ve been looking forward to trying this place. We were less than impressed by the previous restaurant in that space (Thai Time)


Amber Aggona September 1, 2023 at 9:44 am

We also went this Wednesday to try the new Thai, and I just wanted to chime in the music. Funny because that is often what will make or break a place for me, that and I enjoy a nice 70% capacity, full enough but not too full. The music needs to be “on theme” and at at a volume where we don’t hear kitchen clatter but can hear each other speak.
The station they had on was such a treat that I had to Shazam it.
It was a group called Mats & My doing Bossa Nova covers.

I would only recommend turning the lights down just a bit, the LEDs made it a bit bright for romantic dinner <3

See ya soon new Thai spot!


Christelle September 2, 2023 at 3:27 pm

I celebrated my birthday here and agree, the food is so fresh and good! I highly recommend the vegan Thai ice tea with boba as well!

And, I realize I’m biased as Brandon’s mom, but he’s an absolute delightful kid :)

I hope so many more people find their way to this incredible restaurant.


JohnP September 4, 2023 at 11:11 am

After reading Judy’s review we decided to try Social Thai last night, and were very pleased. We tried an appetizer of summer rolls, which were the best we’ve ever had, as well as beautifully presented (also note that you get 4 of them). We also loved both the ‘spicy green bean’ stir-fry and the ‘mango chicken’. We will definitely come back!
Do be aware though that (as Judy noted) their ‘medium’ spice level of 5 is indeed significantly hotter than ‘medium’ at other local Thai restaurants (next time we’ll try a 4). Also, regarding differences between the on-line and printed menus, I believe the prices are now the same, but I did notice at least one dish listed on-line that wasn’t on the printed menu. They are still in “soft opening” mode so the menu may still be evolving.


Debbie September 6, 2023 at 11:32 am

Excellent addition to Ocean Beach! Fantastic dinner (thank you Kathy and Ray). The restaurant decor is pleasant, it’s super clean, service is gracious and attentive, food just EXCELLENT and presentation well done. Our group enjoyed Drunken Noodles, Teriyaki Chicken, Egg Rolls, Pad Woonsen, Shrimps Dishes, and Libations.

Welcome Social Thai!!!!!


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