Brothers bring Thai-American fusion to former site of Mississippi Catfish


By Mike Kinney

Two brothers have brought a Thai restaurant to the former Richmond location of Mississippi Catfish.

About a month ago, Max and Christopher Manonuek opened Pra Jam Thai Restaurant at 12440 San Pablo Ave.

For more than 10 years, the brothers have owned and operated Berkeley Thai House at 2511 Channing Way in Berkeley. Having lived in Richmond for about four years, they said they expanded to the local area in order to share their recipes and food with their neighbors.

“We wanted to open up our Richmond location so everybody in Richmond and surrounding area could access the very best in authentic Thai food,” Max said. “We were so excited to get this location!”

Pra Jam Thai Restaurant serves what the Manonuek brothers call American Thai fusion.

“They are the same recipes we use at our Berkeley restaurant,” Max said. “We buy the finest American ingredients to cook with locally and then we use them to cook our traditional Thai food.  The fusion of the two is quite remarkable and extremely popular with our customers.”

Customers favorites include the spicy noodles and coconut curry, as well as curry noodles and the curry rice dishes, said Max, who added that the food’s affordability also entices.

“Most of our curry dishes are $15,” said Max, such as the red curry with red curry paste in cocunut milk, bamboo shoot, bell pepper, carrots and sweet basil leaves alongside Jasmine rice.

Popular entrees include the chicken and pork BBQ dishes.

“We serve either charbroiled BBQ pork or chicken meat that is marinated in Thai herbs,” Max said. “It is served with sweet chili sauce and Jasmine rice. Our entrees range from $15 to $16.”

Customers also “swear by” the fried rice, which consists of egg, broccoli, carrots, corn and raisins in ketchup sauce, and is served with fried eggs, fried chick wings and sausage, according to Max.

“We have a diverse fried rice menu that runs between $15 to $22,” he said.

The Manonueks view their customers like family and friends, “so it is very important for us to keep our prices affordable.”

“We like everybody to come here two- or three-times a week to eat,” he said. “We want Pra Jam Thai restaurant here in Richmond to become your-must-go-to-food spot.”

When Max isn’t busy feeding East Bay residents and visitors, he said he likes to bring his dogs to local parks, like Point Pinole, Marina Bay or Tilden.

Pra Jam Thai Restaurant is open Monday to Friday from noon to 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Pick-up, dine in or delivery are all offered.

Call (510) 374-6417 or order online by clicking here.