Thai Tom is the tiny, cramped University district darlin' where the food is fast and delicious and the air is smoky with the flavors of Thai delight.
The concise menu includes tofu as a meat choice, and it seems the brisk staff is used to dealing with the fitful culinary whims of university students and didn't bat an eye when I asked for my spicy noodles (more or less phad kee ma0) made vegan.
I'm not sure Thai Tom is necessarily the best in the city, but it is consistently tasty, fresh, and hot. A seat at the bar (sometimes a necessity if you wish to be seated ahead of the giant hungry line) is an entertaining peek into the madness of flying hands, flames and sauces as the sweating cooks blast out order after order.
Add all of that to the inexpensive prices, and it's no wonder the place is so popular.