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Cordon Bleu, San Francisco

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This is the tiny dining counter that introduced the City to crisp-skinned, juicy Vietnamese style five-spice chicken more than 25 years ago. Not having been there for more than a decade, I picked-up a take-out dinner while wandering by in a daze last week.

Unfortunately, in my impaired state of consciousness, I didn’t take notice of what was actually going on at the cooktop. When I got home, I discovered that the half chicken was completely charred and all the skin was inedible. The wing was a piece of charcoal and the condition of the rest of the meat showed it had obviously been cooked ahead, refrigerated, and then reheated. Dry, hard and tasteless. The rice was covered with a stewed onion and tomato-based meat sauce, not unlike Bolognese but with some dirty refrigerator moldy aftertaste. The best part of the meal was the “country salad” which was cabbage slaw with a tart/sweet rice vinaigrette.

This was a complete waste of $7.

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  1. My sympathies.

    I feel for the loss of the chicken skin, after not managing to grab a bite of the skin of the 25lb turkey at the party I was at Saturday (I think the person who carved it kept all of it for himself and the guests of honor (g)).

    Sometimes I think the only reason to roast your own turkey is for the skin -- especially the piece that covers the neck cavity and has stuffing stuck to it.