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cheap eats
by dan leon

I am the egg man

DAMN THE JUJU . In case you missed it, two weeks ago in this column I waxed exaggerotic about how many eggs I've been eating on account of what else am I going to do with all the eggs my eight little prides and joys have been cranking out ever since they all simultaneously reached puberty? Or whatever the hell chickens reach.

Well, six eggs a day was how many, I boasted. And in the Happy Anniversary love song I wrote for Crawdad, which is basically just a retelling of the restaurant review, set to music and with the added line "I love you" for good measure, I upped the exaggeration to seven eggs a day. Redundancy being redundant, I won't bother to publish the song here, but let me just point out, dear reader, in the interest of all-around good-naturedness, that I love you too, in a different sort of way; I just don't always say so because it seems somehow less appropriate in restaurant reviews than in love songs. You understand.

The thing is that, damn the juju, as soon as I started blabbing about eggs eggs eggs, the chickens cut back from six a day to two a day. Now, I have several theories about this – one being juju, damn it.

2. One or two of the chickens realized they were actually roosters, and as such, thought it would probably be prudent to stop laying eggs immediately.

3. Something weather related. (Must look into this.)

4. My hens, like everyone else in the world, started worrying about my cholesterol. Only, unlike everyone else in the world, they were in the unique position of being able to do something about it, bless their hearts, the cocksuckers.

Listen up, hens, friends, and juju gods: I was kidding. My actual egg consumption, even before the falloff, was more like 10 a week, which comes to roughly 1 1/2 eggs a day, which is pretty much exactly what the doctor ordered (look on the carton: 1 egg = 71 percent D.V. cholesterol). That's what I was trying to get Crawdad to see over dinner last night at Samila Thai.

What Crawdad wanted to know was, well, what about the butter?

True, I have been personally accounting for two sticks of butter a week, according to inventory, but that's Crawdad's fault for learning to make homemade bread. Savvy enough to know not to verbalize that point, I instead countered with the even cleverer comeback: "Hey, I don't eat all the butter I use, you know."


"Some of it I cook with."

She just looked at me over her guay tiew gai sub, which is wide noodles over lettuce with crumbled chicken, tomatoes, and peas ($6.25), and blinked.

I won't bore you with the rest of the blow-by-blow. Suffice it to say that it almost got ugly. Never have we ever come closer to being one of those couples than last night at Samila Thai. Great restaurant, by the way!

But she wanted to know, well, what about bacon and beef and this and that and pork chops? And, to make a long story short, I started listing all the truly unhealthy things I don't eat, like fast food and chocolate and junk food and mayonnaise. Fondue, pennies, Cheese Whiz, flypaper, tacks. I could go on and on, and my big mistake was that I did. But we got out of there, eventually, with our marriage intact – and for right around 10 bucks apiece, which isn't bad! No, not too shabby at all for Thai food. Three dishes, including a hot-and-sour shrimp soup appetizer ($6.95).

Everything was good. The red-curry duck was fantastic. That's roasted ducks floating in a spicy coconut-milk broth with tomatoes and pineapples, and it's so all-around nutritious that it might maybe be my favorite Thai thing to eat. They have it for lunch, too, for $4.75! Almost everything they have (and they have about a hundred things) is available for lunch before four for $4.50-$5.50. And, believe it or not, that's not even my favorite thing about Samila. My favorite thing is that there are pictures of everything on the menu. Actual pictures, in color, and looking good.

Great little place. Go there. Me, I'm getting my cholesterol checked for the first time in my life, in May, for my 39th birthday. It's agreed: we shook on it. And I promise not to mention eggs or cholesterol again in Cheap Eats until then, but if I check out OK, everyone has to stop worrying about everything. And if I don't, then I'm done with eggs forever, and you're all invited up to our place for an eight-chicken barbecue. I'm serious.

Samila Thai. 5336 Geary Blvd. (at 18th Ave.), S.F. (415) 752-4310. Sun.-Thurs., 11:15 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11:15 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Takeout available. Discover, MasterCard, Visa. Wheelchair accessible.