The award-winning Saffron Thai Grilled Chicken is San Diego’s first authentic Thai restaurant. Owner Su-Mei Yu opened the quaint take-out eatery on India Street’s restaurant row in 1985, infusing spirituality with healthy cooking to develop an exotic menu that specializes in one tasty entrée: saffron-marinated chicken prepared with traditional Thai methods. Reasonable prices, a quick-service atmosphere, and fresh seasonal fare make Saffron a favorite amongst San Diegans.
Yu’s second sit-down restaurant, Saffron Noodles and Saté, opened in 2002. Together, the Saffron brand has already won the “Best Of” Zagat and USA Today restaurant polls. San Diego Home / Garden Lifestyles Magazine awarded numerous “Silver Fork Awards” to the restaurants and to Yu as “Restaurateur of the Year” in both 2001 and 2002. Year after year Saffron is consistently named “Best Takeout” by San Diego Magazine readers as well.
Food for the Body, Mind and Soul
Yu, who grew up in Bangkok, designed her menu with the concept of offering food for the Body, Mind and Soul. Her healthy cooking techniques were learned from the elders in Thailand, who taught her which foods have medicinal properties. These properties are cleverly hidden in the tastes, flavors, and aromas of each dish’s natural ingredients. Yu returns to Thailand once a year to spend time with the elders who discuss the best seasonal ingredients for each new Saffron creation.
“Food is not only the sustenance that nurtures us,” says Yu, “it is also a remedy, which keeps us healthy during abrupt and unexpected climatic changes. It is the medicine that heals us in time of sickness.”
Today, Yu serves only the freshest ingredients, using items unique to the season, making sauces and sides from scratch, and preparing everything daily. Most of the dishes are prepared without the inclusion of trans fats. The result is an award-winning menu that is both economical and nutritional.