TL Restaurant of the Month: Esan Classic

Yes, that sign reads, “Esan Classic” (we think).

What’s Good in the Neighborhood?

In conjunction with the Tenderloin Equitable Development Project, UC Hastings students and staffers regularly sample a delicious local eatery for Restaurant of the Month. Most students don’t realize there are so many great places to grab a bite in the Tenderloin just a short walk from campus.

This month, 1Ls Brent Coulter,Christian Park, and Vishaal Lalchand were treated to Northern Thai cuisine from Esan Classic located at 739 Larkin Street.

Manager Rene Colorado with 1Ls Christian Park, Brent Coulter, & Vishaal Lalchand.

Owner Chef Tom Silagorn, the founder of Ler Ros, collaborated with Chef Chanon Hutasingh to create the flavors & vibe of Esan Classic. Both chefs traveled Northern Thailand with manager Rene Colorado to hone their culinary skills by learning hands-on from local cooks to perfect traditional dishes from the Esan region.

Larb- a classic Northern Thai dish (almost a meat-based salad) that exemplifies the hot, sour, pungent, and sweet flavor balance typical of many Thai dishes.

The décor of the restaurant mimics the industrial look of restaurants in northeastern Thailand. The food is farm to table like in Southeast Asia and is meant to be enjoyed in a relaxed setting with friends.

Just a relaxed meal with friends, Thai-style (Vishaal thought he was posing for a video).

Chef Tom is originally from the Esan region and this restaurant is an homage to his home region. He is so committed to his craft and the authenticity of flavor that he hired a chef specifically assigned to just salads.

Industrial decor with a custom-built motorcycle for good measure.

The students sampled a variety of different dishes, like Pak Boong Fai Daeng (stir-fried morning glory), Seur Rong Hai (grilled top sirloin), Kai Himmaparn (cashew nut chicken), Larb, and Pad Thai. “My policy is to taste everything twice before I say no to it,” says Vishaal.

Stir-fried morning glory (also known as Kangkong or water spinach), with fresh chili and garlic.

The hands-down favorite for all the students was the larb. Brent, who has been to Thailand and is quite familiar with the local cuisine, noted that it was one of the best larb he has ever had.

Brent demonstrates how to perfectly scoop larb.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa, these flavors! I can taste every distinct ingredient,” exclaimed Christian after sampling the larb.

Each dish was thoroughly enjoyed and all of the plates were taken emptied or taken back to campus for post-class leftovers.

The cashew nut chicken was a close second in the flavor department.

The students all had an overall amazing experience and look forward to bring out-of-town guests to Esan Classic. “I just text my wife who loves Thai food. She is so jealous right now and I can’t wait to bring her here,” says Christian.

Make sure to add a little rice to your dish.

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 page:

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