Despite the fact we had a reservation, and despite the fact the days and hours on their door said 11:00 AM - ? SEVEN DAYS A WEEK they were closed when we arrived at 12:30 PM. There was no note on the door or any kind of explanation. We had to quickly scramble to find a place in order to
make a 2 PM theatre show.
Our meals were not that great. My flying squid meal was mostly onions and just a few squid. Passable at best - honestly there is a lot of competition in the area and better choices up the street.
Excellent value! Food is very good and service even better. They had live music and dancer the night we were there. Would definitely go again.
The food was excellent but the service inattentive and scattered. Also, the dishes came out in haphazard fashion. If you go, be prepared to spend more time than you might expect and also order ALL of your dishes at the beginning. We made the mistake of ordering appetizers and then mains and that really stretched the meal out. We also didn't make a play and we scheduled 2 hours for dinner.
The place was almost empty @ 7 pm on a Saturday night when the college was back, which should've made us suspicious. The service was ok but uncaring, the food was fair, & we both felt a little ill a few hours later, we think from the chicken satay. We would never go back here!
We loved this restaurant at its previous location, and we love another branch of this restaurant. At this one, we were the only ones in the restaurant and we still could not get any service, so after 20 minutes of being ignored, we left.
Baked salmon was good.
I was assured that the food I choose wouldn't be very spicy. It was, however, so strongly spiced that I couldn't eat it. My husband who usually likes spicy foods found it overly spiced as well.
Service was quick, but the food not very flavorful.
We were visiting the Bay Area and some friends recommended this restaurant as one of their favorites. The food and ambiance seemed fine but nothing exceptional. It was not crowded when we were there (a Tuesday at 6), so we appreciated that it was quiet.
We eat here frequently before attending Berkeley Rep. It is never crowded, moderately priced, and the wait staff are always pleasant. Not sure why more folks don't come here before they go to the theater or Freight and Salvage! It is near by and much more relaxing than the crowded, noisy restaurants on Shattuck! Their red curry is great, the prawns and vegetables I had on this visit were fresh and perfectly cooked. Always a wonderful place to have dinner when I don't have that much time but want a relaxing experience.
Food is fresh and tasty. Curry dishes are wonderful!
We enjoyed our Easter dinner here. Very quiet as not many in restuarant. We ordered four dishes and rice and tea. Really great flavor and loved the rice served in a heart shape. Would definately recommend.
My husband and I came here to revisit an old favorite during our courting years of 25 years ago. It was nothing like the wonderfully vibrant restaurant with the very tasty exotic cuisine we remembered. It was just an adequate neighborhood restaurant not much different than what we can find everywhere now. I guess you can't go home again.
Came upon this place when I was looking for a moderately priced restaurant near Berkeley Rep. Surprisingly good food. Seafood and veggies was very fresh, curries were flavorful. Very empty despite two sold out plays, etc going on just two blocks away. Will definitely eat there again before theater or music performance!
terrible place - the smell of camphor overwhelms you as you enter; the food is not good. Avoid this place.
Perhaps because it was Christmas Day eve (we had made a reservation), the staff seemed overwhelmed. It took a very long time for our order to be taken and not until I had motioned the waiter over twice. It was difficult to know who was doing what. It was a cold night and the temperature inside the restaurant was not many degrees above that outside. Everyone kept on their heavy coats. When the food came, it was very mediocre. Tom Yum was without much flavor and barely spiced. The main courses were also very mediocre: the pumpkin curry had little to no pumpkin, the pad kee mao was ok but probably the least interesting I've had, and the third dish--with chicken and rice--was barely spiced. I would not return and wouldn't recommend the restaurant to others. There are plenty of choices for good Thai food in the East Bay.
We were greeted by a waitress who spoke virtually no English and had no idea what Open Table was. Took repeated requests to speak to someone else to get the manager. We ordered off the lunch special menu. The food was adequate but nothing more and, in the case of one of our orders, was not what we had ordered. But it was the same price, was acceptable and would have been too complicated to suggest a correction. There are two Plearn Thai's in the same general area of Berkeley, one on University and one on Shattuck. Only the University location is on Open Table and this guided our selection. Not sure if we'll try the other location or not.
The food was good and the portions generous. Nice ambiance. Reasonably convenient to BART and entertainment venues. NOTE that, when I arrived at the restaurant at the reserved hour, Plearn Thai's server told me and my guests that she had no record of my Open Table reservation for a table for 6 people at the expected time. Fortunately, there was room for us anyway, and we were seated promptly. This is the first time I've used Open Table for this particular restaurant, so I don't know if that was a one-time glitch or if it's a recurring issue.
Interesting, menu tends to spicy hot, kitchen needs more help. Would go back.
Nothing sets this establishment apart from the multitude of Thai restaurants I've visited over the years. Nothing extraordinary about the chicken satay, although the peanut sauce had an interesting and pleasantly chunky texture. The pork-stuffed chicken was new to me, a little dry and containing more fat than I would have expected. The red curry salmon was good. Generous portion of fried banana with coconut ice cream.
Surprisingly, Plearn didn't honor an OpenTable dining cheque. Not sure why this restaurant came up as the first listing for Berkeley given the average dining experience.
I remember this as very good and this visit was just ok
Both the menu and the décor needs some update. Staff very friendly and helpful. Penang curry chicken had chicken that was a little dry or over cooked. Otherwise, flavor was very good. Mi grob was very good. Fried fish cake over cooked, as were the veggie dishes.
Wanted a place close to Berkeley Rep for pre-show dinner. First time there, so going off of other reviews for quality and fast service. It wasn't crowded so we had attentive service which we were looking for, don't know how it might be on another night if crowded. chicken satay and Tod-mun fish cakes starters were very good. Eggplant w/ pork and veggies (47) was very good, the beef w/ red curry sauce (27?) came as meat only in the dish which we didn't realize and were a little disappointed in the flavor and lack of other ingredients... both the white and brown rice are very good. Portions are fair, we took a small box of leftovers, and we were satisfied overall. Seems to be a nice neighborhood reliable place.
Not bad is the best that can be said. Bland chicken coconut milk soup with chicken meat that must have spent a long time in the freezer it was so tough and dried out. Green beans smothered in an oily sauce, again with no distinctive spicing. At least it wasn't expensive.
Made reservation and arrived and posted hours on line with open table were not close to what was real hours at the restaurant. Plearn in Berkeley didn't open until an hour after we had confirmed reservation.
Obviously suggest restaurant and open table update hours.
I ate at original plearn all the time in the 80's and eat at the one in walnut creek now.
This was an easy restaurant to go to before Berkeley Rep. I found my dish a bit to greasy for my taste but I am probably overly sensitive. Could have also been a bit less dry. But it was fine and the staff were pleasant. Would have liked a few more options since I don't eat animal products but they were very accommodating when I asked if ingredients could be left off. I would go back.
Very quiet 6 PM on a Thursday night in January. The interior looks plain and a bit shabby, but the service was bright and friendly, and the food (calamari salad, curry salmon, mixed vegatables, brown rice) very tasty and quickly served. A good spot for a pre-movie dinner.
The pad thai was tasty, but nothing else was good. I eat a lot of Thai food, so I trust my opinion here.
A decent thai place. Sauces were well prepared. Spicy dishes were just the right temperature. Seafood in one dish was overcooked and rubbery. Chicken satay was a little greasy. The restaurant is close to Berkeley Rep, so it is a convenient place to grab a bite before the show.
Plearn Thai is the go to place for fresh food, seasoned well and cooked slow. If you are eating at the restaurant, be prepared to wait, for everything is cooked to order. I highly recommend the salmon cooked in banana leaf or salmon in one of their many curries.
At the same time, check out their menu for they do a good and fast take-out business as well.
We did not know until last week that Plearn had opened up across the street and down a block from their old location on University. I am really glad they were on Open Table, so we were able to eat their great Thai cuisine again. The five of us celebrated the graduation of our youngest from college and their food has not missed a beat. The BEST Mee-krob. Great calamari salad, coconut soup, Pat Thai, and great curries. We have eaten about 50 times at their old location and my family is thrilled to rediscover their fabulous food at their current location.
Great lunch specials and best spot for pad ke mao, can't find that taste anywhere. And service is super friendly!
We have gone to Plearn since it opened. It used to be the place chefs went on their day off. No longer. The food was edible but not as it once had been. Same for the service.
Unlikely we'll return.