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Aug 4, 2006 03:00 PM

Where is this, Five Spiced Roast Chicken?

I like to check out this SF Food blog, because it has great pictures, trouble is it is written in Japanese which I don't understand. Every now a word or two of English is included to tempt me further. In todays entry it says:
"Possibly the best chicken you will ever have outsaide of Vietnam"
1547 Calfornia St San Francisco

I tried doing some google searches, but couldn't find anything. Does anyone know where it is that is being talked about and if so - any opinions on the food, especially the aforementioned chicken?


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  1. I found it: Cordon Bleu Vietnamese
    1574 California Street
    Tue-Sat 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
    Tue-Sat 5:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.
    Sun 4:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m

    1. Used to be reliably good once upon a time, but I've heard very mixed reports in recent years. Maybe the chicken can be good when it first comes off the grill but more often than not it's reheated and dry?

      Negative reports here recently:

      1. thanks for the info! Hmm, chaddict and melanie are putting me off.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Sixy

          Eh, get the chicken and plain rice and you should be ok. Demand you get freshly cooked chicken.

          1. re: chaddict

            I think in price-performace terms Cordon Blue does ok.
            The few times I've gone there there was some meat
            that was over cooked or somehow flawed but it was
            certainly edible ...

            I personally think more in terms of "i feel like spending $8 on dinner after seeing something at the lumiere" rather than "i'd like the best 5spiced chicken within 50 miles and i'm happy to go to either pay for slanted door or cordon blue".

            Doesnt CB have some kind of deep friend spring roll?
            I seem to remember that was pretty good.

            note for people who have not been there:
            it is really, really small. you probably cant eat there
            with a party of 4. with 3 people, that limits you either the
            1 or 2 tables they have. most people end up at on the counter.

            some people bitch and moan about smelling like smoke after
            a korean bbq trip ... i imagine this athmosphere in CB is
            equally lingering.

            1. re: psb

              hello, in the early 70s cordon bleu was my first experience of Vietnamese food, specifically their box takeout lunch with 5 spice chicken, seasoned rice, and spring roll for 4 or 5 bucks,thought it was great. The taste memory is partially maintained in a jerk-style grilled chicken I created. have fun

              1. re: psb

                I've only been 2-3 times, but it has been good every time. It is more just nice to sit at the counter and chat. The fried spring rolls are excellent, and very large. The chicken was juicy both times I had it. Pork chop was good, kebab (their version of marinated sliced meat) was even better.

          2. I used to love it in the late 1970s, if that matters!

            1. Any ideas on where we could send Sixy in SF to get a GOOD version of 5-spice chicken?

              7 Replies
              1. re: Melanie Wong

                Well, probably as good as you'll get is at Slanted Door.

                I went on this quest a couple years back and got the 'skip Cordon Bleu' lecture. At that time no one came up with an alternative. Does anyone really like this dish?

                I wasn't wowed by Slanted Doors version. In fact, I'd have to go back and search to find out what I thought about it a the time ... but ... hmmmm ... there WAS someplace recently where I was saying to myself that I have to try the five spice chicken ... if I remember I'll post, but its probably in the East Bay.

                1. re: rworange

                  According to, Mangosteen has it. But their menus have so many mistakes. Call first.


                  1. re: rworange

                    I like 5-spice chicken, but rarely order chicken anywhere when I go out, so I'm not current on who's good now.

                    It's ubiquitous at Viet restaurants, often as part of a rice plate. Personal recs based on experience, folks, please.

                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                      Yeah, turns out the place I wanted to try is in San Pablo ... and it was five spice beef, not chicken. FWIW, here's my ancient post about the chicken at Slanted door ... didn't have enough spice ... with links even OLDER five spice chicken comments ... down to an old review from you on Cordon Bleau where somewhere along the line you called the chicken 'suck-y' ... but that was long ago.


                      I hope Sixy gets some good recent recs. I STILL want to try a good version of this dish. It's just that the SD was SO uninspiring it is not the first dish I want to order at Vietnamese restaurants.

                  2. re: Melanie Wong

                    I am fairly sure that there is 5-Spice chicken on the menu at Lotus Garden, but I don't think I've tried it yet..

                    1. re: susancinsf

                      their version IS really good, but mostly because the chicken is VERY plump and moist. the flavors are right although not as strongly "spicy" as some I've had. That said, I would recommend Lotus Garden's. Great as part of the rice place with the fish sauce/dipping sauce.

                    2. re: Melanie Wong

                      I haven't lived in SF for almost 5 years, but my favorite 5-spice was at "Vietnam Restaurant" on Broadway between Grant and Stockton. A tiny closet of a place, but at the time, a delectable 5-spice and rice was $3.75! (Don't eat the lettuce garnish)