New Chronicle food editor Brandon Watson files double reviews of neighboring food trailers this week. First up is sushi trailer Kyoten, which lives on its own carefully landscaped lot. On their minimalist approach:
items that could flatline in their familiarity - the ubiquitous Philly ($7.25) and California ($8) rolls - become a reminder of why they achieved popularity in the first place. It's an object lesson in how ingredients can be minimal when they are at their peak. That's real wasabi in the negi tekkamaki($6) and negihama ($7). That's fresh shiso in the battera($10.50) instead of a more readily available herb. The menu proudly emphasizes that they use real red crab. This is a meal of italics, not scare quotes.
Watson is similarly impressed by the "authentic and adventurous" cuisine at Thai Kun, a collaboration between chef Thai Changthong, Paul Qui and Moto Utsunomiya. The spiciest offerings especially shine:
Perhaps fittingly, Thai-Kun's best dishes are those most confident with that famous Thai spice. Heat can be tricky, reducing complexity to embers. But not at Thai-Kun. The hottest dish, beef Panang curry ($8) astounds with its balance. Even the protein, usually a disguised afterthought, peeks through. The suggested fried egg ($1) gives it a little extra dazzle. The Waterfall Pork ($8) likewise walks a tightrope. It is simultaneously fiery, unctuous, piquant, and earthy - avoiding the flatness that plagues many competitive Tiger Cry dishes.