The parking lot of Siam Orchid (427 V St., Eureka) is packed enough to simultaneously irritate and inspire hope, given the number of businesses that have moved in and out of the spot. Don't fret; there's more room in the bright dining room, where a photo of King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit preside over twinkling tchotchkes.
Besieged as we are by the limitless platoons of lingerie model "angels" deployed on runways and in ad campaigns of late, the Angel Wings ($8) — chicken wings de-boned but for the very tips and stuffed with something like pork dumpling filling and glass noodles, then battered, rolled in panko and fried crisp — are a welcome irony. These are no two-bite bar wings. In fact, the pair that arrive with standard sweet chili sauce are thickly crusted and substantial enough to pass for lunch. They're also mild and crunchy, so dip away and be grateful your vocation allows you to eat wings rather than wear them.
Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
Thai surf and turf: snapper and ground pork.
You do not have to choose between sweating your way through a Thai meal or surrendering to the usual pad thai. Instead, you could order the Pla Tod-Na-Moo ($13). The filet of snapper is fried without batter, yielding a brown exterior and firm bite. Poured over top is ground pork stir-fried with sweet white onion, scallions, matchsticks of fresh ginger and a mix of white and stewed shiitake mushrooms. The sweetness of the shiitake suits the ginger and the aromatic sauce is brothy rather than greasy. Surf and turf at lunch — another life-choice win.