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Best non-Slanted Door Vietnamese

My recent review of Slanted Door (short synopsis: nice service, unspectacular food) elicited a lot of feedback on Vietnamese restaurants in and around SF that do it better for cheaper. It seems like a topic that merits its own thread.

When I want to be blown away with quality Vietnamese dishes, here is where I go, with specific dishes, ranked from most hole-in-the-wall to least.

-Loi's in Sunset for pork bun

-Golden Flower, in between Chinatown and the Financial District, for pork bun with imperial rolls (#40) (with better than average veggies) and their great pho

-Turtle Tower on Larkin for pho ga

-Yummy Yummy in Inner Sunset for banh khot, bun cari ga, and crab dishes

-Bodega Bistro on Larkin for shaking beef and banh xeo

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  1. Is Pagolac still good for beef seven ways (bo 7 mon)?

    1 Reply
    1. Pho Tudo on Clement right now is my go to for Pho. The rest of the City is hit and miss re: Pho with Mangosteen on Larkin once serving me Pho Ga (chicken pho) with beef broth......

      1 Reply
      1. re: grubber4

        Mangosteen seemed to be a wanna-be fresh and trendy, and a bit of SE asian fusion type of place. Food was mediorce at best, and prices were above average for the quantity and quality. Skip it.

        1. re: susancinsf

          and banh xeo and the raw beef salad and the grilled lemongrass chicken.

          1. re: farmersdaughter

            and the banh khot, if you can get Kathy to have her husband make it for you. (It's not hard, in my experience.)

          2. PPQ on Irving for 5 spice chicken Bun.

            Sunflower on Valencia for Steamed Sea Bass & Banh Xeo.

            Pho Hoa Lao in Oakland Chinatown for Pho.

            Minh's in Milpitas for Grilled Catfish & Banh Xeo.

            1. A lot of people like Turtle Tower (Tenderloin) for Pho.

              I like Pagolac (Tenderloin) for everything I have had there.

              Tenderloin Pho thread:
              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/340518

              Further away:
              Vung Tau/ (San Jose)/Vung Tau II (Milpitas) for grilled onion beef roll, imperial rolls.

              Binh Minh Quan (Oakland Chinatown) for lots of things.