Late morning of this past Saturday, I had an appointment which required me to be in the Marina district. Although it’s actually walking distance from my neighborhood, I don’t usually go there much any more. The feel is decidedly yuppie, which is decidedly NOT me! When my appointment was finished, it was about lunch time. My two go-to places on Union Street are Osha Thai or Gamine. There are several Osha Thai restaurants in San Francisco, the original being a smaller hole-in-the-wall type restaurant in the or on the edge of the Tenderloin. There’s also a branch of Osha Thai right near my office. The Marina one is my favorite taste-wise, though. As for Gamine, there’s only one and it’s very French. Did I want some spicy Thai food or some merguez? I walked past Osha and saw that it was empty, so there would be no wait for a table. Gamine was several blocks further down and I was feeling lazy, so into Osha Thai I went. The hostess gave me a table by the window so I could do a little people watching. My lunch choices were the beef larb appetizer ($12), plus the chicken with garlic and black pepper, served with steamed rice ($11). Add to that a Singha ($3 all day) and I was set. The larb was listed as a new menu item. Honestly, I don’t remember whether they had it before or not. My favorite Thai foods are chicken larb, beef with garlic and black pepper, angel wings, tom yom goong, som tom, spicy basil noodles, anything with the ginger and shiitake mushrooms, deep fried pompano, panang curry and those fish cake thingies. I changed it up a slight bit by switching the chicken with the beef. Do I live on the edge or what?! The larb was ground beef with mint, red and green onions, with a cilantro-lime dressing. The more authentic ones have “crushed” rice. This was served atop very crisp lettuce leaves. Boy, was it spicy! My lips were tingling! I couldn’t get enough of it, although I knew the chicken was still coming. I finally tore myself away from it to start on the chicken with garlic and black pepper. Although it was rather spicy, it didn’t compare at all to the heat of the larb. The chicken with garlic and black pepper came with the steamed rice, as well as a couple slices of cucumber and tomato. I finished slightly less than half of each, then packed them up to take home. That beef larb will be my newest craving!