327 4th Avenue , San Diego, 92101, United States

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Rama is a Thai restaurant in the Gaslamp district of San Diego, an area littered with tourist trap restaurants preying on delegates from the nearby convention centre. Rama is a cut above this level, serving conventional Thai food, though with spicing levels noticeably scaled back to their estimation of American taste. The dining room has a fairly high ceiling, with a series of arranged curtains splitting up the dining room space.

The meal started well, with fishcakes that were significantly better than the greasy versions so often served in Thai restaurants. Here the batter was clean, and the filling of fish and onions having good texture, served with a lightly chillied dipping sauce (13/20). This was better than a decent but bland cold vegetable roll (11/20) though som tam salad had a pleasant chilli dressing, albeit not as spicy as one would encounter in the UK, let alone in Thailand (12/20). Tom yum gong was acceptable, with prawns that were not over-cooked, but with a stock that lacked the complexity that a good version should have, here merely having a one-dimensional chilli warmth, as many of the ingredients I would expect to see in this soup appeared to be missing (11/20).

The main course dishes were a distinctly mixed bag. Striped bass with stir fried vegetables was reasonable, properly cooked (11/20) but pad Thai noodles were terrible, with soggy texture (10/20). Scallops in a red curry sauce were decently cooked, though again the sauce was rather ordinary, lacking in the complexity that a full range of spices would bring (11/20). Spicy rice with chicken was fine (11/20).

At the time of this meal the restaurant lacked a liquor license, though of course this may change in due course. Service was pleasant, with a friendly server and reasonably efficient waiters. Overall this is definitely a step up from the ghastly norm of the Gaslamp district, but it is not somewhere to which to make an excursion.

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