Tyler Cowen in The Atlantic proposes six rules for dining out. Some are familiar and self-evident, but others are clever. Cowen thinks Thai food is declining in the US but suggests you try Thai restaurants at motels:
If the restaurant is attached to the motel, its proprietors are likely not paying extra rent for the space. A Thai family may already own the motel, and may be operating this business on the side, in which case the owners won’t have to cover high rents by appealing to large numbers of customers or by cutting corners. Odds are you’ll get fairly authentic Thai food at low prices.