Pork, Shrimp And Peanut Dip From Pim Techamuanvivit Of San Franci

"Have it your way" is not a phrase that comes naturally to Pim Techamuanvivit.

Instead, you'll have it hers at Kin Khao, the month-old San Francisco Thai restaurant opened by the tech company employee-turned-food blogger-turned-jam maker-turned-restaurateur.

"At most Thai restaurants, it's like they all ordered the same menu from the same website," laments Techamuanvivit. "'Choose a color of curry, a protein and the level of spice.' That's not my thing."

Her thing is a small menu of traditional Thai dishes that the Bangkok native grew up eating and could never get anyone to cook for her stateside. And she's serious about the quality of her ingredients, sourcing from many of the same farms and fisheries her longtime partner, David Kinch, uses at Manresa, his acclaimed Michelin-starred restaurant in Los Gatos.

Clockwise from top: Khun Yai curry | The interior | Techamuanvivit | Hua Hin Beach cocktail (Photos: Chris Rochelle)
Former Manresa chef Michael Gaines painstakingly makes curry pastes from scratch, including one for an exceptional silky green Khun Yai curry with rabbit loin, saddle and meatballs the size of shooter marbles that's unlike any other we've tasted.

That Gaines' technique meets Techamuanvivit's standards is no mean feat. "These are pretty much all family recipes," she says. "It really is a trip through my childhood."

Among the items we've gotten attached to is a peanut, pork and shrimp dip served with rice crackers (see the recipe). It was a favorite after-school snack for Techamuanvivit; we want to eat it all the time because it's at once salty and sweet, perfectly balanced and insanely delicious.

Turns out we're happy to do things Techamuanvivit's way, too.