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This Michelin-trained chef has quietly opened a neighborhood Thai spot

Prik Hom, a new Thai restaurant in Laurel Heights, serves curries, stir-fries and seafood. | Courtesy Prik Hom

Prik Hom, a modern Thai restaurant from Michelin-trained chef Jim Suwanpanya and his sister Tanya Suwanpanya, soft-opened in Laurel Heights on Feb. 22.

The Suwanpanya siblings took over a restaurant space on Geary Boulevard between Parker Avenue and Spruce Street that previously belonged to Derm, another contemporary Thai restaurant that closed in the summer of 2022, according to Tablehopper.

Tanya said that while she and her brother decided to keep their initial opening under-the-radar, they’ve quickly developed a local following. “People in the neighborhood have come in and already come back,” she said. 

Prik Hom—which translates roughly to “fragrant chile” in Thai—draws upon Jim’s culinary background and Tanya’s business experience. As such, Jim helms the kitchen while Tanya manages the finances and operations. 

Jim began working in the restaurant industry in San Francisco about five years ago but returned to Thailand to sharpen his skills at Michelin-starred contemporary Thai eateries Bo.lan and 80/20—both located in Bangkok. 

It became possible for the Suwanpanya siblings to launch their restaurant when Jim moved back to the States in February. Tanya told The Standard that the recipes with which her brother returned surprised even her. 

“Some of the food I had never tried before,” she said. 

With this new venture, Jim said he melds his fine dining experience with a deep knowledge of 100-year-old curry recipes that are hard to find in Thai restaurants in the U.S. Using dry spices that Jim said are more aromatic, Prik Hom’s curries are all scratch-made—many incorporating coconut that Jim toasts in-house each week. 

Prik Hom’s menu also benefits from fresh seafood that the Suwanpanyas source locally from Monterey Fish Market at Pier 33 in dishes like Dungeness crab omelet and halibut curry, Tanya said.  

Because Jim is Prik Hom’s only chef, the restaurant is currently open for dinner only, though Tanya said they hope to extend their hours into lunch service soon.