You will wait, probably outside in the rain, for one of the 20 seats. You will be rushed through your order by a waiter who has all the patience of the Soup Nazi. The place rarely opens on time and only takes cash; the food will sear your lips clean off. Man, this is fun! Many cities have their crazy-cheap line-out-the-door novelty ethnic—see House of Nanking in San Francisco’s Chinatown—but Thai Tom stands out in part because our other outstanding Thai restaurants are so overwhelmingly polite and polished. Polished this ain’t. As scion of the family that owns the longtime Eastside standbys the Thai Kitchens, ownerchef Tom Suanpirintra knows what he’s doing—he just does it at lightning speed, three pans at a time, with little-of-this-lot-of-that imprecision, over leaping flames in an open kitchen the size of a coat closet. His pad thai is some of the freshest in town; his swimming rama and (not on the menu) green curry are ample and fine. Star-ratings are holy writ in this room; warn all relevant body parts. And alas—the place every partyer longs to wrap up the night in closes at 9PM (8 on Sundays). "The chef, he gets tired," explains a waiter needlessly.