Prommares provides the perfect antidote for summer heat

Prommares’ Thai squid salad will make you forget how hot it is outside.
Photo: Beverly Poppe

The Details

6362 W. Sahara Ave., 221-9644
Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Prommares' green coconut curry.

Call it a mom and pop, or a hole in the wall. Prommares Thai restaurant is small, tasty, maybe quirky. The collection of condiments on each table is bookended by soy sauce and hand sanitizer. Soft music comes from a tabletop CD stereo like the one you used to have. The pad Thai is solid. You’ll eat it off a simple white Corelle dish. It’s all very familiar, even if you’ve never been here before.

You probably have been here before. Prommares has been sitting at the corner of Sahara and Torrey Pines for 18 years (the current owners and menu have been around for seven). The kitchen, which must be tiny, serves up lots of takeout to regulars on their way home, and taxis frequently deposit tourists operating on some good advice, just like the quiet tip I received. I’ve been on a mission to try as many local Thai restaurants as possible, to prove a thesis that in our city, this cuisine is first-rate. Prommares is another affirmation.

People mostly order that pad Thai, or chicken in yellow coconut curry with carrots and potatoes (both $7.50). Or they like the stir-fried stuff. Choose a protein—tofu, chicken, beef, pork, shrimp or combination—to go with ginger, onions and mushrooms, or with dried red chili peppers and cashews. Prik king is a bold choice, snappy green beans with a dark red chili paste. I love chicken with chili and mint ($7.50), and Prommares doesn’t take it easy on the heat, so this dish really shines.

Other interesting bites include the chef’s special crab and shrimp curry ($11.50), a hot and sour salad of squid, lettuce, onion, cucumber and tomatoes ($10.99), and the reliably spicy ground meat salads known as larb (minty) and nam sod (gingery). In late summer heat, Thai is a great way to eat light without sacrificing taste, and this little mom and pop hole in the wall is a great place to do it.

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