Experienced San Diego Thai Restaurant Family Expands Northward With Impending Opening Of Urban Thai Kitchen

February 25, 2020

From the family behind such San Diego eateries as Plumeria Vegetarian, Chi Extraordinary Kitchen, and Thai Joint comes Urban Thai Kitchen, a new restaurant opening soon within Carmel Mountain Gateway Shopping Center.

Urban Thai Kitchen is a new restaurant opening from Mike Tamarkin, whose mother Patty started their small family restaurant business in 2005 when she took over Jimmy Wong’s Golden Dragon in the heart of Hillcrest and converted it to The Asian Bistro.

"The inspiration for Urban Thai Kitchen came from my many travels to Thailand and enjoying the food throughout the busy city streets of Bangkok and Chiang Mai," explained owner Mike Tamarkin. "I love how you can get delicious food from many different types of vendors: sit-down restaurants, epic food court spots, street food, etc. Thai people from all walks of life can be seen at any of these given locations. In a way, the delicious food transcends class lines. I want to bring a modern Thai dining experience while serving many of my family’s traditional recipes. I began working at The Asian Bistro as a busser when I was 14 years old and moved my way up the ladder until I became the manager. Since 2005, we have opened a few other restaurants, including Plumeria Vegetarian in University Heights and Encinitas, Thai Joint on Adams, and Chi Extraordinary Kitchen."

Panang Salmon
Urban Thai Kitchen will open next month within Carmel Mountain Gateway Shopping Center, offering a 2,200 square-foot dining room with a 300 square-foot patio. The menu will be centered around modernized Thai dishes like Panang salmon curry, larb with mock duck, and the family's signature Drunken Noodle pad kee mao. The kitchen will be helmed by two chefs that have worked with the family since the opening of their first restaurant The Asian Bistro, which the family has since sold. The eatery will also feature a drink menu with Stubborn craft sodas, Thai iced tea, nitro cold brew from Modern Times, craft beer, Boochkraft hard kombucha, and premium imported sake.

"We want to blend our traditional Thai recipes with the modern dining experience," continued Tamarkin. "Most of our dishes are my grandfather’s recipes from when he ran a restaurant in Thailand. We make our sauce bases, curries, soups, etc. from scratch daily. While our food is authentic and traditional, the decorum and atmosphere of the restaurant’s interior is more modern and up to date. We hope that this contrast will help highlight the flavors of our dishes."

Urban Thai Kitchen sits at 11493 Carmel Mountain Road in San Diego's North County. For more information, visit urbanthaikitchen.com.