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New thoughts on the Tenderloin? [San Francisco]

On my way over to Lers Ros from Powell St. and O'Farell I noticed a lot of tempting hole in the wall restaurants. In the past I have tried Thai House Express, Osha Thai Noodle Cafe and a Laotian or Burmese place about a million years ago. A few Mexican places caught my eye as well, but I can't remember the names. I skipped noting the Indian places as I eat a lot of Indian food in Sacramento.

Chabaa Thai Cusine
Sai Jai Thai Restaurant
Dong Baek Restaurant
Acme Burgerhaus
Tian Sing - not exactly the Tenderloin, I walked past it on my way back from shopping. I only found a couple of recent mentions on CH

Kim Thanh
Pinecrest Diner - in case I need to have a super early breakfast
Senor Sisig - also not quite the TL, it was parked around the corner from my hotel. I was on my way to the TL.

BTW, Lers Ros was great, lived up to the hype. I took a to go menu for delivery during my next visit (I guess I am a little food obsessed I have the home to go menus, the work to go menus and now SF to go/delivery menus.)

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  1. And my question is: what are hounds thoughts on these places and or what are some other suggestions?

    6 Replies
    1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

      I've only been to Lers Ros but I like a lot of the Vietnamese pho and bahn mi places in Little Saigon, and I've eaten at almost all of them! Cafe Zitouna is great (not really Tenderloin though I guess) and Yemeni's on Sutter St. is one of my favorites in the city. Borobudur is just okay. I used to like it a lot but I've found the food to be pretty greasy and not all that great the last few times I went, so I've stopped returning. I don't really bother with any other Thai restaurants because you won't get better than Lers Ros anyway. Ryoko's is kind of bordering on the 'loin and I enjoy it for what it is. Brenda's is great for breakfast. Farm:Table is overhyped and not worth the wait imo, but if I lived nearby it'd be a decent local spot I suppose. Haven't had good experience with any of the Indian places I've tried so far.

      1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

        I agree that Lers Ros is probably the best and has the most interesting offerings of any Thai restaurant in the City. Among the Vietnamese places in the Loin, Turtle Tower has outstanding north Vietnamese style beef and chicken pho. Their fried imperial rolls are excellent as well, crispy without being too oily. Hai Ky also has excellent chicken pho (not worth waiting in line at TT if I'm planning to have chicken pho, IMHO), and their braised duck leg soup is tasty and cheap. Saigon sandwiches makes great banh mi, though a bit too filling for me. Lee's sandwiches makes a fine sardine banh mi and has a great selection of che, warm sweet desserts made with coconut milk. Ngoc Mai, on Hyde, has excellent banh xeo, creeps with shrimp, pork and bean sprouts, along with many other Vietnamese specialties not available at some of the other places in the neighborhood. A personal favorite of mine is Mung Tho on Hyde, where the owner has created a tiny oasis of cleanliness, beauty and peacefulness in a very rough neighborhood. I usually go for the BANH UOT CHA LUA & TOM CHIEN, a fried shrimp crepe served over rice noodles with sliced pork and vegetables, but I have not been disappointed with any of the items on their limited menu of noodle dishes, with or without soup and banh mi.

        1. re: johnrsf

          I've been to all the others you mentioned except for Bun Tho, which I can't seem to find via Google search. Are you sure that the name is correct? The fried shrimp crepe that you mentioned sounds really good and I'd love to try it! Is it comparable to Ngoc Mai?

          1. re: OliverB

            I think he was referring to Mong Thu on Hyde

      2. There's nothing really to recommend Acme over any other burger place. Typical random burger joint that is much better than fast food, but not otherwise memorable.

        1. There's some interesting reviews on yelp for Red Chilli.

          1. Take a look at this link - it was about the dish of the month banh xeo. If you work your way thru the thread, you'll find entries for Vietnam House - specifically for banh khot...

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9004...

            1. You can add Saigon Sandwich to your list of Tenderloin gems.

              6 Replies
              1. re: sugartoof

                Even more hole-in-the-wall bahn mi shop is Sing Sing Sandwich Shop. It's a peculiar "cafe". They have one tiny counter and the lady makes maybe 2-3 types of bahn mi behind that counter. There is also one pot of coffee to go with your sandwich. The clientele is almost all Vietnamese, especially in the back room. The bahn mi is decent, completely different than Saigon Sandwich.

                1. re: Keesey

                  In what way is it different?

                  Are any of the three options without fancy pork?

                  1. re: Keesey

                    Sing Sing used to make just one type of banh mi. What are the types now?
                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5887...

                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                      I have seen Hoang Dat mentioned before, I'd love to try the meat ball soup.

                      1. re: Melanie Wong

                        I saw a sign for meatball and this may be more of a special order but you can get just pate with butter (too rich for me!).