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1489 Folsom St. @ 11th Street San Francisco  Tel, 415-552-3963

LUNCH:   11:30am - 2:30pm Mon - Fri

DINNER:  5:30pm - 10:00pm Nightly

Last seating is 15 minutes prior to closing time

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Low prices, high style at Basil Canteen

Amanda Gold

San Francisco Chronicle

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

For years, the Public - the restaurant and lounge that Was housed in the landmark Jackson Brewery building at the corner of 11th Street and Folsom - was described as upscale and swanky, boasting a New York City vibe. Exposed red brick walls and oversized windows form the industrial, warehouse setting, where patrons would lounge while sipping martinis and noshing on small bites.

It's not the type of atmosphere that one would normally associate with a Thai restaurant, so it was a bit surprising when Basil Canteen took over the space in early fall.

For owner Todd Sirimongkolvit, however, it's an appropriate setting in which to showcase his cuisine. The chef and restaurateur owns sister restaurant Basil Thai down the street - long considered one of the more upscale Thai spots in the city - and he also runs the popular Soi4 on Oakland's College Avenue. Both of those spots serve some traditional Thai fare while also adhering to the Northern California sensibility using fresh, seasonal ingredients in more modern adaptations. This latest restaurant follows suit.

Fortunately, with the exception of adding a large communal table in place of the lounge, Sirimongkolvit did little to tweak the interior from the Public days. Grouped bulbs hung like upside-down floral bouquets light the room, and a few woven wood chairs replace a handful of the more utilitarian metal ones by the bar. Otherwise, the sexy interior is the same, and still one of the highlights

Sakoo Sai Moo