Thursday, October 18, 2012

Noe Valley: Rin’s Thai Restaurant

San Francisco, CA – Noe Valley’s 24th Street is a sweet spot in the city with charm to spare—Victorian row houses, flower shops, antique stores and an overlooked Thai restaurant: Rin’s.  This Zen themed eatery is a sanctuary of grace and relaxation tucked away at the corner of 24th and Douglass.  Low-lighting, soft terra cotta-colored walls, and photographs of Buddhist monks add to the serenity of this fairly priced restaurant. 

Kim, my friend from Humboldt State and I marveled at the diversity of their hand-picked wine selection—she chose a 2008 Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, and I stayed true to California, selecting a 2007 Taz Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara which was soft and silky with a floral undertone and a red-fruit finish. 

            “Tonight I want it to be about you,” Kim said to me, “you’ve been through a lot and I want to listen.”  She was right.  My mom suffered a stroke in early September and I’d been away from Basecamp for over five weeks.  Still, I was grateful for the gift of a true friend, and a flavorful meal in a lemon-grass, ginger-scented restaurant with low-key jazz playing in the background.

            Over a green papaya salad with egg, grilled pork, mint and peanuts I told her about hiring two caregivers to support my mom around the clock.  Soothing my frazzled nerves was an aromatic dose of chicken soup and mushrooms in coconut broth.  A healthy serving of chicken satay with cucumber salad, peanut sauce and brown rice strengthened my resolve to continue caring for an aging parent. 

            The evening ended too quickly, but the memory of a loving friend and a gentle meal at Rin’s remained in my heart.