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New thoughts on the Tenderloin? [San Francisco]

free sample addict aka Tracy L Jul 15, 2013 12:08 AM

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. free sample addict aka Tracy L RE: free sample addict aka Tracy L Jul 15, 2013 09:41 AM

    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
      OliverB RE: free sample addict aka Tracy L Jul 15, 2013 01:03 PM

      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: OliverB
        free sample addict aka Tracy L RE: OliverB Jul 18, 2013 10:06 PM

        Thanks for the recommendations.

      2. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L
        johnrsf RE: free sample addict aka Tracy L Jul 29, 2013 01:22 PM

        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
          OliverB RE: johnrsf Jul 30, 2013 12:37 PM

          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
            soupçon RE: OliverB Jul 30, 2013 10:51 PM

            I think he was referring to Mong Thu on Hyde

            1. re: soupçon
              OliverB RE: soupçon Jul 31, 2013 03:10 PM


      3. d
        dunstable RE: free sample addict aka Tracy L Jul 16, 2013 07:25 AM

        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. g
          goldangl95 RE: free sample addict aka Tracy L Jul 29, 2013 04:31 PM

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

          1. RWCFoodie RE: free sample addict aka Tracy L Jul 29, 2013 07:13 PM

            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...


            1. s
              sugartoof RE: free sample addict aka Tracy L Jul 30, 2013 12:00 AM

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

              6 Replies
              1. re: sugartoof
                Keesey RE: sugartoof Jul 30, 2013 05:28 PM

                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
                  sugartoof RE: Keesey Jul 30, 2013 05:48 PM

                  In what way is it different?

                  Are any of the three options without fancy pork?

                  1. re: Keesey
                    Melanie Wong RE: Keesey Jul 30, 2013 06:09 PM

                    Sing Sing used to make just one type of banh mi. What are the types now?

                    1. re: Melanie Wong
                      free sample addict aka Tracy L RE: Melanie Wong Jul 30, 2013 07:21 PM

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

                      1. re: Melanie Wong
                        Keesey RE: Melanie Wong Aug 7, 2013 10:25 AM

                        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!).

                      2. re: Keesey
                        free sample addict aka Tracy L RE: Keesey Jul 30, 2013 07:19 PM

                        That sound's great.

                    2. s
                      Sharon S. RE: free sample addict aka Tracy L Jul 30, 2013 08:08 AM

                      Where's Bodega Bistro on your list? The Burmese place is off the hook.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Sharon S.
                        free sample addict aka Tracy L RE: Sharon S. Jul 30, 2013 07:07 PM

                        Bodega Bistro is mentioned so often on this board I thought I'd skip asking about it, but I will definitely try it.

                      2. soupçon RE: free sample addict aka Tracy L Jul 30, 2013 10:57 PM

                        Nobody seems to have mentioned Zen Yai Thai on Ellis St., notable for their Thai boat noodles.

                        1. free sample addict aka Tracy L RE: free sample addict aka Tracy L Jul 30, 2013 11:41 PM

                          What about Comida Yucatan Pizza and Restaurant?

                          1. o
                            OliverB RE: free sample addict aka Tracy L Aug 14, 2013 06:47 PM

                            Tried Pearl's today walking home from Union Square, only because The Sentinel was closed by the time I'd walked out of my haircut appointment and it was quick and convenient.

                            A big fat "meh".

                            I ordered medium rare with no mayo and grilled onions. It came out closer to medium well and was rather flavorless. The burger was way too big to properly fit in your mouth and the bun was needlessly oversized as well. The meat was not particularly flavorful and the onions were piled on in excess. The whole thing was messy and rather bland. An entirely mediocre fast food burger overall and I wouldn't bother to return.

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