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SF's Best Secret Sports Bar...Is a Thai Place

When we got a tip that King of Thai Noodle House was offering cheap food and drinks and the complete sports lineup on big-screen TVs, we had to admit skepticism. King of Thai Noodle House? The chain that is second only to Osha for SF ubiquity? As it turns out, though, the North Beach outlet of King of Thai is an honest-to-God sports bar, with the added assets of ridiculously cheap drinks and food. We joined a good-sized crowd for the NCAA final on Monday, where we sipped $2 drafts (Sierra Nevada, Fat Tire, Amstel Light, Sapporo), then switched to tasty and gigantic $6 margaritas, prepared by an efficient and friendly trio of Thai women.

The real jaw-dropper, however, came when we saw the menu: with one exception, every single item, from spring rolls to tom yum soup to pad thai, was a mere $5. For $15, we got four skewers of tender chicken satay, slathered in peanut sauce, a good-sized plate of pad see-ew, and a bowl of beef in panang curry. The food wasn't mind-blowing, but we've paid far more for significantly worse iterations of these Amero-Thai classics. The group of Butler fans a few stools over remained cheery, even as they saw their team lose on the four giant HD sets: It's hard to be too disappointed at a bar where it's literally impossible to drink a beer that costs more than $3 or a cocktail that costs more than $6. As the Giants season gets into swing, King of Thai just became our new favorite spot for boozing and ballgames.

King of Thai Noodle House and Sports Bar is located at 1268 Grant Ave., North Beach, (415) 391-8219. All drafts are $2, all bottled beer is $3, all cocktails are $6, and almost all of the food is $5. Seriously.