55 Thai Kitchen To Open Pacific Beach Outpost Within Former Buddy's Diner Space

February 26, 2019

A concept first launched locally as a hub in the back of a convenience store in San Diego's Golden Hill community is now about to open its 4th area outpost, taking over the space that last housed Buddy's Diner in Pacific Beach.

55 Thai Kitchen began nearly 50 years ago when owner and head chef Vijit "Jit" Pipatkhajonchai's family opened a restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand. Jit began working at the eatery as a teenager and at age 19 opened his first restaurant in Bangkok. He has since opened nearly ten more restaurants, including J&T Thai Street Food in Linda Vista and Turmeric Thai Kitchen in La Jolla, with his first version of 55 Thai Kitchen opening in the back of San Diego Market in Golden Hill in 2017. Chef Jit has also opened two additional 55 Thai Kitchen branches in the past two years, in downtown San Diego and another in the SDSU College Area. What's with the name, you may be asking? The Thai word for "five" is pronounced "ha," so the restaurant's can be interpreted as the "Ha-Ha Thai Kitchen".

The next 55 Thai Kitchen will be the largest one yet, opening later this year in the space that last housed the recently-shuttered Buddy's Diner in Pacific Beach. Like other incarnations, the restaurant present a menu with traditional and unorthodox takes on Thai dishes made with scratch-made and healthy ingredients. The restaurant''s specialty is its Massaman Curry, which it alleges is the only version in town not derived from a paste. The company will continue its mission to offer free meals to the local community in need and eventually aims to set up a program to turn a portion of profits into financial aid for children in Thailand.

55 Thai Kitchen hopes to open by this summer at 1564 Garnet Avenue in Pacific Beach. For more information, visit 55thaikitchen.com.