Tenderloin Restaurant of the Month: Esan Classic

What’s Good in the Neighborhood this month?

There are plenty of great places to grab a bite just a short walk from campus in the Tenderloin. That’s why each month, UC Hastings students and staffers sample a local eatery and share our review of it with the Hastings and Tenderloin communities.

In October, we decided to revisit a classic — Esan Classic, that is. Students Victoria Ayeni, Sharon Liu-Bettencourt, Alisha Eastep, Melina Hettiaratchi, and Myell Mergaert checked out the Thai eatery located at 739 Larkin St. This was the second time the Hastings community convened at Esan Classic. The first was back in January. Our community enjoyed the food so much the first time around, that we had to go back for a second visit. And, Esan Classic did not disappoint this time around.

As noted in our January review of Esan Classic, owner-chef Tom Silagorn and chef Chanon Hutasingh curated the restaurant’s traditional northeast-Thai menu and its sleek, industrial interior. Silagorn is also the founder Ler Ros, another popular Thai restaurant in the Tenderloin.

The students ate family-style and let manager Rene Colorado choose the dishes, which included a papaya salad with raw blue crab, seafood pad thai, a vegetable and a chicken massaman curry, the ever-popular ground pork salad, larb, and a showstopping whole fried black sea bass covered in Thai basil, chilies, and a delectable sauce.

A whole fried fish presented on a platter
A whole-fried black sea bass at Esan Classic. The dish is one of the resturant’s specialties.

“Esan classic is a real gem for the discerning pallet,” said Eastep, a 3L who also noted the restaurant’s exceptional use of spices that accented each dish.

Eastep went on to describe the restaurant as “a delectable culinary adventure.”

In an area of San Francisco where good Thai food is plentiful, Esan Classic stands out. Several of the students not only lauded the restaurant for its unique yet familiar flavors but also said it was one in the neighborhood they would return to.

UC Hastings and its students are committed to being great neighbors in the Tenderloin. For more news about the community, visit the Tenderloin Equitable Development Project.

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Read more Resturant of the Month reviews on Medium.