613 Faxone Ave
San Francisco, CA 94112
Why did we dine here? – Champa Garden is a Thai restaurant not far from City College in San Francisco’s Ingleside district. The original location opened in Oakland in 2006 and is well loved. Our friends like this casual restaurant, so it was time to give it a try. Last to go visit was in early 2017.
Insider Tip – Come early or late to avoid the wait.
Cuisine – Laotian – Thai – Vietnamese
Location – San Francisco, Ingleside district
Opened – 2013
Service – Champa Garden took forever to seat us. They did not optimize table arrangements, giving big tables to small parties of 2 and then stalling everyone to wait for a large table to come open.
Verdict – Champa Garden serves up tasty Thai food, better than we expected. Give it a try if you are nearby or in Oakland. We also like Lers Thai and Marnee Thai in San Francisco
Is this restaurant worth a 5 minute drive? Yes. 30 minute? Yes. 1 Hour? Maybe.
Champa Garden Signature Dishes – Champa Sampler, Papaya Salad, Pad Thai,
Champa Garden’s Menu is pretty wide ranging with lots of dishes including many vegetarian options.
Champa Garden Food Picks:
Champa Sampler ($11.95) lao sausages, fried rice ball salad, and fried spring rolls is ordered by many tables. A nice sampler of 3 fun dishes, especially the rice balls. (Crispy rice, mixed with preserved pork, green onions, peanuts, and lime juice.) This is served with large lettuce wraps, mint, and cilantro on the side.
Papaya Salad: ($7.95) Thai Or Laos Style – Thai style comes lime vinaigrette, pepper, long bean, and tomato with peanuts. Laos style comes with mixed papaya salad with lime juice, garlic chili pepper, noodle and tomato with fish paste. We had the Thai style and found it a pretty big salad that was fine, yet a bit watery.
Tom Kha ($7.95) coconut sour soup, kaffir leaves, and mushrooms with choice of meat or vegetarian was spot on. Rich coconut flavor and strong sour limey flavors. Enough to feed 5 people! Tons of chicken too.
Pumpkin Duck curry ($8.95) with sliced pumpkin in red curry was the highlight of the night. Rich curry and a sizeable portion of duck. Even had some eggplant.
Panang Curry ($9.50) with chicken, bell peppers, kaffir leaves was good but not as interesting as the duck curry.
Mango Sticky Rice ($5.95) is a favorite dessert of ours. This version did not disappoint. Lots of sticky rice, although mango was clearly not in season.
Fried Banana with Coconut Ice Cream ($6.95) also met our expectations. Nice creamy ice cream with crisp bananas.
OK: (Order if you like this dish)
Pad Phet Spicy Duck Special ($10.95) eggplant, green beans, oyster sauce – had very little duck and a ton of heat.
Pad Se- Ew with Chicken ($7.95) was bland and soft.
Pans: (We would not reorder these dishes)
Pad Prik Khing ($8.95) Green Beans Stir Fry just didn’t hit the mark. Little quantity and a weird red sauce, try another vegetable.
Do you agree with our review? Have you found other similar restaurants that are better?