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Mar 12, 2010 12:02 AM

So Restaurant is back -- Chicken Wings, Potstickers! -- on Bryant St. now -- anyone been there? [San Francisco]

According to , So Restaurant (or was it Cafe) has reopened in SOMA at 1010 Bryant St. (b/t 8th and 9th St.) This was the restaurant run by the son of the owner of San Tung. The Urban Stomach blog rates their wings number 1 in SF. I can't wait to give them a try. Has anyone been here, yet?

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  1. Updates?

    So Restaurant
    1010 Bryant St, San Francisco, CA

    6 Replies
    1. re: Melanie Wong

      We tried 3 noodle dishes, a fried rice dish and their dry fried chicken. I loved the chewiness of their noodles, and my favorite was their SO black bean sauce noodles. I also liked their dry fried chicken better than San Tung's, it seemed a tad spicier and less sweet. The fried rice was fine, but the noodles and chicken are what I'd order again.

      1. re: DezzerSF

        I would add that the fried fish appetizer was wonderful, too. Crispy, even with the spicy sweet garlicky sauce enveloping the fish.
        I also loved the hot sausage fried rice. It was an endless portion, and it seemed like the leftovers I took home were as much as I ordered.
        Ma po tofu with beef was comforting and well seasoned, especially delicious with the homemade noodles.

        1. re: DezzerSF

          Thank you both. We talked about it at our chow lunch on monday but then i couldn't find any new info on it.

          1. re: DezzerSF

            We also tried the fried chicken wings and 2 noodle dishes. The wings were delicious - crispy, spicy and not too sweet. I haven't been to San Tung's, so I can't compare. I ordered the SO black bean sauce noodles and my husband ordered the peanut butter noodles. The peanut noodles were good, but the black bean noodles were much better - the flavors were more complex and spicier.

            I had heard that the restaurant often has a line. We went on a Saturday about 2:00 p.m. and fewer than half of the tables were occupied. This was a couple of months ago.

            1. re: goodeatsgal

              Showed up last Friday @ 6:30 pm. Walked right in and got one of the last few remaining empty tables. Within 15 mins there were probably 3 or 4 parties waiting.

              Chicken wings were very good. Nice complex flavor, perfectly cooked. Leaned a bit sweet for my taste but I'd definitely return and order them without hesitation.

              Black bean noodles also very good. Texture could have been a bit more chewy / "Q" but the melding of the sauce and noodles was nice.

              Spinach with garlic was fine. Service was very good. One downside of the location is that traffic on Bryant was horrible. One car forward per red light kind of thing. I'd park a couple of blocks away and walk to avoid the insanity.

          2. re: Melanie Wong

            This is actually my current go-to for chao ma mian in the city. It's not a perfect bowl, but it's the best I've found in SF. The noodles have a great texture, plenty of veggies and goodies (I usually skip the mussels, which are dry and chewy). Broth is maybe a bit on the thin side and without the delicious smokiness you sometimes find, but a great convenient option.

          3. In Eater today: "Frustrated SO Owner Skewers Picky, MSG-Hating Customers via Window Sign"

            10 Replies
              1. re: Melanie Wong

                And to think I reviled them as too Yuppie/Chuppie when they replaced my favored San Tung branch with the first SO. Now I love them, possibly too late.

                1. re: soupçon

                  the closure protesting the clients who wanted msg-free cooking from organic ingredients was apparently short-lived. are SO's noodles made in house, fresh ?

                  1. re: moto

                    I've not been back to SO since it moved to SOMA. Then the noodles were the hand-pulled style, made in house.

                    Sounds like the chef/owner just needed a time out.

                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                      thank you. the cooking looks like it has a Shandong foundation (including quasi-Japanese dishes like curry croquettes), but with whimsical, Hawai'i diner-style creations such as ma po doufu, beef or chicken over noodles, and 'chorizo fried rice'.

                2. re: Melanie Wong

                  Wow, responses seem to have gotten trimmed. I don't remember much controversy in them.

                  To moto's comment, definitely Shan Dong influenced, being the kid(s?) of San Tung.

                  Execution has been inconsistent and not as good as the mothership . . . bland zha jiang mian sauce, submerged dry fried wings, tough squid (in the zjm)

                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                    SO Owner Posts New Sign Telling "Hard to Please" Customers to Stay Away

                    and odd that i couldn't see Moto's posts last night, but i can see them now.

                    1. re: drewskiSF

                      Some times when I edit a post, it somehow hides some of the replies in a thread until I refresh. Maybe that happened to you.

                      I've read some of the other news outlets coverage as well. One comment from an anonymous chef essentially said that at his own place the cooking is a la minute and that he was happy to leave out any allergens. He went on to say that SO was basically reheating fast food if it couldn't do that. The ignorance in that statement floored me. SO specializes in noodles and dumplings made in-house. Its kitchen is filled with wheat flour with risk of gluten cross-contamination. Also, nearly all soy sauce has wheat in it. It's pretty hard to cook Chinese food without soy sauce. Sure, there are gluten-free versions of soy sauce, but when your kitchen is full of wheat already, why bother.

                      1. re: Melanie Wong

                        I used to love SO, but every time I've tried to go there in the last 4 years, they've been closed during posted opening hours. Sometimes there's a sign on the door, sometimes not. It happened so many times that it became a bit of a joke with my friends.

                        We've given up on them but hope they come around. I was not surprised to see these headlines given my own experiences there.

                        1. re: Melanie Wong

                          "Also, nearly all soy sauce has wheat in it. It's pretty hard to cook Chinese food without soy sauce."

                          Not to mention that soy sauce by nature is heavy with both l-glutamic acid (fermentation product) and sodium from salt, thus a major "natural" MSG source (that is in fact part of why soy sauces exist and are used -- flavor enhancement). Soy sauces analyze at around 800-1400 mg free glutamate per 100g (oyster sauce and common umami cheeses are comparable; table: ).

                          Thus very few, if any, East-Asian restaurants can even accurately claim in other than a rhetorical sense to "add no" MSG -- to say nothing of other sources found in many of the basic food ingredients themselves, before any condiments are added.

                          Seems this guy is just being honest.

                    2. PSA: SO is closed on Mondays and has sign posted on door. I stopped by yesterday after a corned beef run to Roberts on the next block.

                      1. Ate there recently at 5:30, just before it filled up. We had the wings (a different experience from the San Dong version), potstickers, So black bean noodles (nice spicey kick), String beans with pork, and What Do You Know ribs. Just enough to pleasantly satisfy 3 eaters. Service was fine. I want to go back for the Ma Po (Mao Pao), which I hear is very good.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: caryjones

                          Thanks for the update, Cary. I've yet to eat at this location . . . and not for lack of trying.