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July 24, 2008 7:41 AM

The truck stops here: Kaosamai Thai

Posted by Nancy Leson

Maybe you know about Kaosamai -- one of Fremont's many Thai restaurants. Perhaps you can even pronounce it correctly (say GOW-sa-MY). But are you hip to its roving step van -- a retrofitted restaurant-on-wheels parked at the Shell station across from SPU?

Holy basil! That's some terrific Thai take-out:

And you'll find it right here Mondays through Fridays from 11 a.m. till 3 p.m.:

After (finally!) checking this place out after mentioning it in an earlier post about meals on wheels, I know I'll be back for more, and soon. The truncated menu is an on-the-go version of the sit-down restaurant's lengthier eats-list and numbered for ease of ordering:

I highly recommend a "Big Combo" -- like the No. 14 ($7.50), notable for its Penang curry beef and quartet of vegetarian spring rolls. The phad Thai that comes with it is fine, not fabulous, and the jasmine rice generous enough for sopping every bit of the coconut milk- and lime leaf-infused curry sauce. But the dish that got the big high-five from my pals back at the office was this one: the kick-inducing No. 4 -- phad kee mao -- spicy stir-fried rice noodles tossed with aromatic vegetables and chicken or fried tofu ($6.50):

Regulars know to call ahead. Don't, and you may be tapping your toes as they come and go. But hey! The wait was well worth it. They only take cash so bring some -- or head into the gas station mini-mart where there's an ATM. And while you're in there, get something to drink if (the truck sells only Thai iced coffee or tea). There's also a 7-Eleven across the street in case you need a Thai iced Slurpee to chill out after wolfing down the spicy phad kee mao. Just kiddin': they haven't started selling that frozen concoction over there -- yet!

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