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Aug 25, 2007 11:00 AM

Lam Hoa Thuan and Wonderful Foods - Sunset

I went to Lam Hoa Thuan last night w/ a friend thanks to Nancy Berry's recommendation.

The menu was big, and there were several other specials on the walls in Vietnamese and Chinese (but not English) it was hard to decide what to order. We ended up ordering some pretty basic stuff, but it was good comfort food. I'd like to return and try more soon.

One thing that struck me was the number of choices I had when it came to ordering.

I first ordered shrimp chow fun. I was asked to choose a vegetable (they had bok choi, chinese broccoli, etc) and also choose wet or dry. I chose chinese broccoli and dry.

Next I ordered a wonton soup with BBQ pork (which ended up coming on the side). Did I want noodles? Yes. Egg noodles or rice noodles? Egg noodles. Thick or thin? Thick.

The shrimp chow fun was pretty good, but a bit bland, and I added a bit of hoisin sauce which helped. The vegetables and shrimps were very good though. Soup broth was okay, had nice bits of fried garlic and cilantro, and the wontons were also just okay. The BBQ pork was also just pretty good.

Total bill was a whopping $12.73 for plenty of food for two hungry guys.

The restaurant closed at 9 (they were shutting lights off by the time we were leaving around that hour). Overall, solid

Knowing this was prime bubble tea territory, we headed west on Irving and tried Wonderful Foods. I had the green milk tea with tapioca, friend had mango smoothie w/ tapioca. I am pleased to say this is the best bubble tea I've had so far in San Francisco....tea wasn't overly strong or weak, and the tapioca was perfect - good chew, but not hard inside. I'll definitely be back. They also have a very nice selection of candies and dried/preserved fruits.

Thanks again to Nancy for always recommending great places for me to try....I owe half of my meals to you!

Lam Hoa Thuan
2337 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122

Wonderful Foods Co
2035 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122

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  1. Saw you there last night, I think, Dave -- Tufts sweatshirt? We had the fabulous deep-fried squid with spicy salt (#70) the gai lan with garlic along with the shrimp cakes and the #2 soup -- they were out of the preserved orange skin duck by the time we got there last night. They were also out of roast duck and soy sauce chicken, but we did get some char siu to bring home. So, if you want the best that they have to offer, then go for lunch or early dinner.


    1 Reply
    1. re: Nancy Berry

      Haha, yeah, that was me....I didn't see you though, otherwise I probably would have come over and stolen some of your shrimp cakes :)

      But maybe you were leaving around when we came?

    2. Drove past both places after a rare visit to the park and grabbing some deletable Banh Mi at Irving Cafe and Deli (I think that was the name)?

      I noticed Wonderful Foods moved from its old location to where Ten Ren used to be. And the old WF location became a cough cough Quickly (aka Quickbucks or the Starbucks of tapioca tea in SF).

      12 Replies
      1. re: K K

        Yeah, this was a little confusing for me....I hadn't been to that block in a long time and things have changed. Quickly is the first bubble tea place you see when walking from 25th Av, so I'm glad we passed by it and found Wonderful Foods. I think the address in my link above hasn't even been updated yet, since both Wonderful Foods and Lam Hoa Thuan are on the same side of the street (so they should both be odd numbers). But Wonderful Foods is between 21st and 22nd Avenues on Irving.

        Dave MP

        1. re: Dave MP

          Yeah, they switched blocks quite awhile ago. There was a Quickly/WF scuffle (not exactly chow-related!), but part of it is tangentially related to the whole Ed Jew scandal.

          If you liked Wonderful, you might also want to check out Sweet Delite on Clement, which is owned by the same family as Wonderful. A large variety of teas, some Marco Polo ice cream selection, and also a short list of Taiwanese dishes such as beef noodle soup.

          1. re: shortexact

            Great, thanks for the recommendation. I'll definitely try Sweet Delite next time I'm in that neighborhood.

            1. re: Dave MP

              Sad to say that when I was on Clement St. last week, I noticed that the Sweet Delite storefront had a grand opening banner for Quickly.

              1. re: Melanie Wong

                What???? Oh no!! This is terrible news :-(

                There's a new Quickly just a couple blocks away! They are getting to be as bad as Starbucks.

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  Hmm, this is a little strange. I just called Sweet Delite at 519 Clement and asked them if they were turning into a Quickly. They said that they weren't going anywhere. But why would there be a Quickly banner?

                  1. re: shortexact

                    Thanks so much for checking! I just looked at the map location in Places for Sweet Delite to try to figure out what else might be going on. I had lunch at China First, which is on the 300-block of Clement. Across the street is the former Sweet DELIGHT Bakery, and that must be the place with the new Quickly banner.

                    I think I had better patronize Sweet Delite tomorrow to make amends!

                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                      Oh OK, that makes sense. *phew* Yeah, I think Sweet Delight changed to Quickly during the summer, but that is in the 300 block of Clement. At least Sweet Delite is still safe.

                      I think I'll make a westward trek to Sweet Delite soon too... if not tomorrow, this weekend! Their durian tapioca drink is calling me... =)

                      1. re: Melanie Wong

                        Did you enjoy lunch at China First -- what was ordered?

                        1. re: Sarah

                          After our April lunch, , my mom asked me to keep the price down when we returned in October. So, we picked two dishes from the “all day specials, $3.85” menu and a plate of chicken chow mein.

                          We’d overheard another table ordering the chow mein and that it was their regular order here. Wish we’d seen it first, as it turned out to be quite mediocre. For chicken, I prefer the old-school tossed chow mein over the Hong Kong-style noodle cake. But here, there was little wok charring on the noodles or any of the ingredients. Also, the chicken was cut into random chunks, slices, and strips and was overmarinated.

                          Chicken chow mein -

                          The eggplant from the special menu was a gloppy mess with clumpy cornstarch. Cooked into mush and oozing oil, my thrifty mom didn’t even want to take it home to try to revive it. The chicken wings were the highlight, however, not as good as Capitol’s in Chinatown.

                          Chicken wings and eggplant in garlic sauce -

                          China First
                          336 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118

                2. re: shortexact

                  Has anyone tried the beef noodle soup at Sweet Delite? I'm on the lookout for good Taiwanese style beef noodle soup.

                3. re: Dave MP

                  We were out on Irving Street today, giving me the chance to stop by the new location of Wonderful Foods (2035 Irving St.). I got the taro milkshake boba, $3.75. Yes, pricier than others, but WF uses real taro and not powder.

                  I noticed that Quickly has 59¢ drinks as a grand opening special. I kept walking and gave my business to WF. Gotta support the good guys who care about quality.

                  Wonderful Foods Co
                  2035 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122

                  Sweet Delite Gourmet Foods Co
                  519 Clement St, San Francisco, CA