HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >

Discussion

Turtle Tower on Geary

  • m
  • Melanie Wong Jan 7, 2006 10:51 PM
  • 10
  • Share

Friday's late lunch turned out to be a big bowl of pho ga long me trung non ("chicken meats and intestines noodle soup") at the newish branch of Turtle Tower in the Richmond instead of ramen. The soothing chicken broth was just the ticket -- light and non-greasy brimming with concentrated chicken-y comfort. While translated as "intestines" on the menu, the innards were just fresh-tasting, creamy textured chicken livers along with boneless pieces of steamed lemongrass chicken. The Northern style pho was topped with fragrant scallions and cilantro. The only other garnishes were some fresh jalapeño and lemon. Made with fresh, chewy rice noodles, this steamy bowl was the essence of simple, clean and direct flavors. Available in two sizes, my bowl shown below is the large for $5.95. The small is $5.40.

The menu at the new place has 26 dishes at lunch time, plus a few additional dinner specials posted on the wall, beer, and non-alcoholic drinks. This location is open until 9pm, staying open later than the Tenderloin. It takes credit cards and has a pay lot next door. It's located a block east of Aziza.

Turtle Tower Restaurant
Vietnamese Cuisine
Nh`a H`ang Tháp Rûa
5716 Geary Blvd.
San Francisco 94121
415-221-9890
Open 7 days a week
9am to 9pm

Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

Image: http://home.earthlink.net/~melanista/...

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
Cancel
  1. this place basically ruins southern pho for me... i do miss the basil though

    9 Replies
    1. re: spork
      m
      Melanie Wong

      Wonder how they'd feel if you sneak some in . . . (g)

      Have you tried the dinner specials yet? I don't think these are offered in the Tenderloin branch.

      1. re: Melanie Wong

        everytime i think i'm going to... the pho gets me. its a shame... normally i'd be into variety and trying new things out, but the pho (chicken or beef) is quite powerful

        1. re: spork
          m
          Melanie Wong

          Hehe, I know what you mean, those soup stocks are so good! You live nearby . . . get pho one night then go back the next day and try something new for the team. (g)

          1. re: spork
            d
            David Wishart

            Thanks for the info on the new location.

            I occasionally visit the one on Larkin, and find the broth flavorful and fragrant, but I don't like that the rare beef (Pho Tai) is thickly sliced and clumped together in the bowl. I prefer the Pho Tai at Them Ky instead - as the meet is thinly sliced and layered nicely. I definitely appreciate northern style Pho, but having had homeade on many occasion, I'm spoiled for the good stuff.

            My other favorite VN restaurant in the Tenderloin is Ngoc Mai, on Hyde and also Ahn Hung (Bo7Mon) on Geary.

            David

            1. re: David Wishart

              Mmm, yes, Ngoc Mai. I was very happy with the banh khot there --- what do you recommend?

              Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

              1. re: Melanie Wong
                d
                David Wishart

                I read your always insightful posts so this is a bit intimidating (!)

                My (Northern) Vietnamese friend thinks this is place is nice, but not nearly authentic enough. I don't disagree but they are very nice people who own the place and I feel they put genuine effort into the food and (as you mentioned) it's one of the few places that gives you Hot Mint along with Basil, Cilantro and Mint with the soup. I always feel happy when I eat there, and it's just around the corner from where I live. My neighborhood is the height of culinary happiness for me.

                I typically order the Bun Rieu, but I wish I could get it with snails. I'm also fond of the Bun Bo Hue, and Pho Ga, which has very tender chicken. I've had the Bahn Khot and also like the Bahn Xeo. One other dish I like is steamed rice paste and minced pork in banana leaf.

                I typically add more Nuoc Mam and chillis to the Nuoc Mam Pla, but I find the prepared fish sauce too sweet in most Vn restaurants. I don't like the Cha Gio or Bun Thit Heo Huong there. The grilled pork and fried spring rolls are much better at Them Ky.

                David

                1. re: David Wishart

                  Aha, a trusty correspondent from the 'hood! Thank you for the recs. I'm sure there's much more VN chow treasure to be unearthed nearby. Walking around on Monday I was struck by the number of sandwich counters alone, let alone the restaurants.

                  Them Ky had been recommended pretty highly to me, but I didn't hit the heights in my one sampling. I'll have to try more of the rolls.

                  I am on a bit of a pho ga tear. So far, it seems to be more of a sure bet than pho bo when I try a place for the first time. The Viet (or Chinese-style) free-range chickens are such high quality, the stocks made with them are wonderful.

                  Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

          2. re: Melanie Wong

            Was by there on Friday night. Tried to go to Bodega Bistro, but they were closed for a private party. Turtle Tower was dark and shut. Wondered at the time if they'd closed permanently. Ended up at Mangosteen, but that's another post.

            1. re: veebee
              m
              Melanie Wong

              The Larkin location is still open, had a line out the door when I walked by at lunch time today. It closes around 5pm, maybe as late as 6:30pm though which would explain why it was shuttered when you stopped by. That's why the Geary branch is so exciting, stays open until 9pm. I took a peek at the posted menu and the Larkin prices are the same as Geary.