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Experienced city diners have a certain set of expectations when it comes to eating cheap ethnic food:
1) dingy & tacky decor;
2) bad lighting;
3) aloof (if not downright rude) service; and
4) excellent food.
With the exception of #4, Manivanh Thai defies every expectation. Well-kept secrets like Manivanh Thai are a food critic's dream: we live to tell others about cheap, unpublicized restaurants that serve wonderful food. Closeted between Mexican grocery stores and tiny taquerias, in one of the grungier parts of the deep Mission, Manivanh Thai serves up simple, refreshing food in a genteel, clean and gracious atmosphere.
- Excerpt from Eastern Charm at Mission Prices, Manivanh Thai Spices Things Up by Tamar Love