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Star Anise

3.9
110 reviews
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$30 and under
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Thai
Perfect For:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Great for Lunch

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About

Star Anise is a take-out and delivery restaurant in the San Francisco Livermore neighborhood. It specializes in fast and casual Thai cuisine that guests can order and take home or have the tasty cuisine delivered right to their door.

Star Anise has all the standbys that people come to expect from a great Thai restaurant, but there are also some options that are unique to the menu. Enjoy a spicy prawn dish with Asian eggplants sauteéd with carrot, onion, chili and basil in a wine sauce. Another favorite is the pumpkin salmon curry with baby bokchoy, carrots, peanut curry sauce and basil oil.

Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Thai
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Hours of operation
Monday - Sunday 11:00am - 3:00pm and 5:00pm - 9:30pm
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Phone number
(925) 454-9888
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Sofi Sorroche
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Railroad Ave
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Parking details
There is parking on the street directly in front of the restaurant. If none available there is a public parking lot free of charge on the opposite side of the complex.
Additional
Beer, Outdoor dining, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 110 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
3.9based on all time ratings
4.3
food
3.5
service
3.7
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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3.0Dined on March 5, 2016

Every time we come here it is the same slow service but good food. If you are in a rush, forget about it. Its right next to the movie theater so it is tempting to go there before a show, don't do it! The pumpkin Coconut curry soup is awesome, I get it with chicken, but you can get it with shrimp or tofu. The chicken satay skewers are always great and cooked to perfection. The tables are REALLY close to each other, so if you don't want to share your conversation go somewhere else.

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5.0Dined on February 20, 2016

We especially like that it is so close to the Bankhead Theater

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3.0Dined on February 14, 2016

Went to Star Anise for Valentine's Day after reading reviews on how good the food was. I had also read that service was slow at times. We figured on Valentine's Day that service would be pretty speedy. We waited over 30 minutes before our order was taken. Waited another 30 minutes before any dish was served. It's a shame because the food was amazing. Once our dishes arrived we were a happy couple. Everything was to our liking. After we were finished we couldn't wait to head out and enjoy the rest of our evening. To our dismay it took over 30 minutes for someone to bring us our check, and we had to ask for it. I'd like to say it was not the wait staff's fault for the delays, however the lack of staff that was the problem. There was literally one waitress and a helper to serve the entire restaurant. I would return only but only during off peak hours.

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5.0Dined on February 14, 2016

The food was excellent- mango salmon salad and sea bass with avocado. The food came out straight away and Cindy the server was very attentive. I'll definitely go back.

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4.0Dined on January 30, 2016

This restaurant is quite small and intimate. The food is excellent and very interesting choices on the menu. Service can be a little slow due to just two servers. I highly recommend for lunch or dinner.

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4.0Dined on January 22, 2016

Busy night and with reservations still had to wait. We made late reservations to avoid that.. Oh well!!

Food was great as usual!!

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3.0Dined on January 22, 2016

While the food was delicious, the service was extremely slow. It was crowded, as are most restaurants in downtown Livermore are, but the problem was they had two servers trying to accommodate all the guests in the restaurant. We had to ask to order drinks, ask to order food, and finally ask for our check. I the think this could be a wonderful place to eat, if they could provide more service.

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3.0Dined on January 6, 2016

Go here for my regular Thai food fix. The food is very good and the staff very friendly. They seemed a server short tonight and the service was below average on this visit. I also couldn't understand why they would choose country western music for background music. I enjoy country western music, but I'd much preferred Thai music or at least something on the softer, romantic side.

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4.0Dined on December 31, 2015

The food was great! The service was slow. It could have been slow because it was New Years Eve. This is one of my favorite Thai food restaurants. I highly recommend this place.

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3.0Dined on December 31, 2015

We got there for a 6:00 seating with a reservation. We were left standing until I approached the hostess. There were several empty tables and they were not very busy. We ordered and were not served until about 7:15 after I told the hostess that we 8:00 theater tickets. The guy who was helping.-- no way he could be called a waiter especially wearing a baseball cap - dumped our bottle of wine. They did replace the lost wine and the food was very good. My group ate there last New Year's Eve and had a very good experience. We thought this would be a tradition ... but maybe not. We sure did not feel very valued as patrons.

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1.0Dined on December 6, 2015

the worst Thai food I have ever had. We did not know the town of Livermore, so we made reservations based on previous reviews. 4.5 Stars?! Seriously over-rated by 4 stars.

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4.0Dined on November 22, 2015

As tech money grows in Livermore, restaurants will follow. Star Anise is a gem, fairly small with very high quality food.

The menu is small, they serve a dinner menu on weekends and the service can be spotty but the food takes the cake and is interesting and well prepared.

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3.0Dined on November 18, 2015

The food here is good but not great, and I'm surprised at the price points. $10 isn't a lot of money, but for fried rice at lunch with just a few bits of veg and 4 very pieces of tough duck, it is over-priced, even by California standards. My curry duck dinner was tasty but not one piece of duck was chewable, much less edible. It's a cute restaurant, and I like to patronize local owners, and my husband and his co-workers like it, so I'll continue to go, but I'll have to find something worth eating or I'm taking it off my rotation.

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4.0Dined on September 26, 2015

they need at least one more server, the are always short staffed.

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5.0Dined on September 26, 2015

Beautiful setting, and at last a restaurant where you can have a conversation without shouting. The service was very good, the food was excellent. Would definitely go back again.

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4.0Dined on September 16, 2015

I appreciated the gluten-free option of rice paper wrapped Spring rolls and loved the pad Thai. There was a generous amount of food.

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5.0Dined on August 22, 2015

This is a great place to have a wonderful dinner before a movie or a performance at the Bankhead theater. The service is quick and the food is excellent. It is a small, intimate place for a wonderful dinner.

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5.0Dined on August 22, 2015

We have been going to the Star Anise for several years and have always had a very positive experience there. Their food is wonderful, and they have a large variety of dishes. It's great for lunch or dinner. The staff is very friendly, and they remember the items that we usually order. We have had family lunches there (6 people) many times. We highly recommend it.

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4.0Dined on August 9, 2015

We enjoy the Star Anise Salad with lettuce, grilled asparagus, and grilled shrimp...great to split before an entrée or for a main dish at lunch. We always enjoy the curry dishes. The salmon curry is supposed to be delicious but we haven't tried that yet. The mango sticky rice is wonderful and we always get that even if we are too full after dinner...just can't pass it up.

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4.0Dined on July 16, 2015

Authentic cuisine, great service . Glad to see the menu is getting rotated with new chef's specials. Music playing in the background could stand to be turned down a bit in order to enjoy table conversation. Hoping the menu continues to be creative and well executed.

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4.0Dined on June 21, 2015

All the food came out with a nice presentation. Some dishes were quite too rich and heavy for my taste but overall a nice find.

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4.0Dined on May 16, 2015

We love this place! The service can be a little slow but the food and Thomas Coyne Viongner is always worth the wait! There was a rice dish that came out in a pineapple the looked amazing which we will be having next time.

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4.0Dined on March 7, 2015

This may be the best Thai in the East Bay, located in Livermore's downtown...

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4.0Dined on February 27, 2015

This is a small restaurant, however too large for the two service staff to handle alone. Once seated we had to wait at least ten minutes for our waiter and had to get his attention for water. This was made up for by the quality of the food and we will definitely go back.

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4.0Dined on January 30, 2015

We were there before going to a play at the Bankhead Theatre, perfect spot for that. The food was very good, the only negative thing I can say is I wish restaurants didn't feel the need to put a television in playing a basketball game, if I wanted to watch TV I could stay home or go to a sports bar, when I go to a good restaurant I don't want to be distracted by TV!

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3.0Dined on January 27, 2015

The food was wonderful. The service was lousy. The waiter continually took forever coming back to our table for everything.

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4.0Dined on December 31, 2014

We have dined at this restaurant for many years now. M&M and Ann are the only wait staff. They work 7 days a week with no days off. So, if you go to this restaurant look beyond that he might not be so cordial. The food is outstanding. I always have the spicy tilapia with pumpkin curry sauce on the side. And some Jasmine rice. The muscles are delicious! The chicken wings are amazing and the sea bass is what my husband loves as well as the salmon. A real crowd favorite I think is the basil minced chicken. This Thai Restaurant goes beyond traditional Thai to make it so much more. To understand what I mean...give them a try! I always get a hug from M&M before we leave. Happy New Year to a great restaurant! Cheers!

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2.0Dined on December 27, 2014

I was disappointed that this restaurant I come to for lunch during the week for its delicious food and service was not what I got for dinner. I brought friends who never been to this restaurant. On this night, my reservation was not recognized in OpenTable, the staff was a bit grumpy, and the food was just okay--I have had much better there. Maybe I will try again for dinner some other time when it is not so busy.

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5.0Dined on December 24, 2014

We have been going to Star Anise since they opened. We love the fresh avacado Spring rolls, pumpkin salmon curry as well as many of thier other dishes. Service is usually good unless they are very busy, then they could use another server. The servers are very nice but I feel can get overwhelmed when the restaurant is at full capacity. We love the food and try to eat there at least once a month. I have tried the other Livermore Thai restaurants and they are good but I feel Star Anise is a step up from all of them!

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1.0Dined on December 19, 2014

The don't honor reservations and treat customers like they don't want you to be there!

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3.0Dined on November 22, 2014

Service was very marginal, , menu is limited, and food was ok, but nothing special. If this is the "best Thai" in the area, stick with Chinese.

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4.0Dined on November 21, 2014

They didn't have the reservations I made but seated us quickly. Service was a little slow but the food was worth the wait.

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3.0Dined on September 10, 2014

The food looked great - the duck spring rolls in particular, were presented beautifully on the plate and they tasted good. In fact, all of the dishes looked beautiful but the pumpkin curry and the sea bass dishes were just average tasting.

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5.0Dined on August 23, 2014

The Star Anise is a terrific Thai restaurant in downtown Livermore. Unlike some other Thai restaurants I have visited, the menu is not at all "fussy" and has a wide range of hearty dishes, including seafood, curries, stir fry, and salads. Last week we had a party of 8, and everyone had a much different item from the menu, all outstanding.

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2.0Dined on August 2, 2014

The muscle bound help does not interact well with clients and sets a tone of why are you here. There is no refinement. You get greeted and spoken to better at any Chick Fil A. I'll take my $$ else where. Food was decent enough and the wine pour was decent but not memorable. Add in the service and the feeling conveyed that clients are an annoyance and this spells a poor business.

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3.0Dined on November 13, 2013

The food was very good, but the service could only be described as "sour." Our waiter was not incompetent or overtly hostile, but he clearly conveyed the attitude that he would rather be just about anywhere else.

When asked to divide our tab into separate checks, he returned with some hand written numbers breaking out the meal expenses on the original check. I couldn't tell whether he didn't really understand what we were asking for or just couldn't be bothered.

The service pulls down the overall rating and while I'm recommending this restaurant, another service experience like this one would cause me to drop my recommendation.

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5.0Dined on November 2, 2013

Great food best Thai food I have ever had. Service is great too. Any dish you get you will not go wrong.

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5.0Dined on October 29, 2013

My wife and I had an amazing meal at Star Anise. She had the Duck and I had the BBQ Pork. Both were cooked perfectly and tasted amazing. Service was great and the facilty clean and well decorated. We will be back....often.

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5.0Dined on October 26, 2013

Favorite Thai Restaurant in East Bay

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4.0Dined on October 26, 2013

First time here. Food was really good and portions generous for a Thai restaurant and the down town price point reasonable. Not a good place for 2 people if you are hungry - very small place and very tiny tables for 2 - can not hold more than two dishes at a time and is awkward at that with drinks. If you order a 2 entrées + noodle/rice dish game over for space - limit is 2 item max. Too few tables in a very small place so asking for a larger table to accommodate food and drinks was not possible.

Service was OK - a little light on the attention, when at capacity they seemed to be understaffed.

I would definitely go back when craving Thai and I'm downtown - it was really good food. But I'd go with a party of 3 and wait for a larger table.

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