450A Irving Street
(between 5th and 6th Ave.)
If you work or live near UCSF, you probably already know about this place. Me, I heard about this from a friend and ventured over to taste what I thought was going to be a Thai restaurant. Turns out this is more than just Thai food – LimeTree serves a combination of Thai, Indonesian, Malaysian, and Singaporan (?) and Filipino dishes at decent prices.
Be patient in finding parking if you drive here, and get ready for a bright, clean, informal atmosphere in what looks like the basement or ground floor of a residential building. Check out the various dishes and the specials on the wall and place your order at the counter. Note that “entrees” here more resemble “lunch plates” in my book – a couple scoops of rice with the meal on the side.
We ordered the Roti Pratha side ($2.50) – that’s the hot, flaky bread served with a dipping sauce; the Beef Rendang ($6.99) – extremely tender beef cubes cooked in Indonesian spices, Sinagporean Curry Noodles ($4.99), and a Tofu & Shrimp sautee special. Everything was fresh and hot – I liked the roti and the beef rendang the best. The beef’s flavors were unique and fairly concentrated. The curry noodles were rather bland. There was chicken and some vegetables in it, but the glass noodles were overpowered by the curry sauce…except the sauce was underwhelming. However for $4.99, it provided a large enough portion size that I didn’t totally regret the order. My friend liked the tofu and shrimp noodle special…she took her leftovers home (and she rarely does that!).
I wish I worked near such a place – it’s a simple place to get some great value food for lunch or dinner. I’d go back again to experiment with some of their other dishes.