Thursday, July 2, 2015
There's something jarring about the Thai noodle soup dish Yen Ta Fo, and I think it has to with the way the unnatural pink color of the broth seems to magnify its dominant sweetness. Having gotten to know it, it's not one of my favorite soups, but curiosity and my blog demand that I experience this eccentric soup from the hands of the best Thai noodle soup mongers I know of; noodlesse oblige, one might say. And who knows, I might experience a revelation.
Having previously sampled the yen ta fo from Lers Ros Thai and House of Thai, I made it an excuse for returning to Kyu 3 Noodles & BBQ today, where it's listed on the menu as Yen Ta Pho (which it certainly is not).
This hot pink bath was home to jumbo shrimp, fish balls, calamari rings, sliced fish cakes, cuttlefish and what appeared to be shredded jellyfish (but may not have been). It was like Hello Kitty meets cioppino, the famous San Francisco mixed-seafood chowder. Topping it off (and providing some color contrast) were dark green water spinach and cilantro, and yellowish fried wonton skins.
Where slurped: Kyu3 Noodle & BBQ, 337 Jones St., San Frncisco.
Saturday, June 27, 2015
I walked in through the open door past the tiki-ish entryway to the newly remodeled San Dong Best restaurant that was formerly Xi An Gourmet (nee San Dong House). "We're not really open yet," said the young male server who greeted me. "But you can order something anyway." There were a couple of other tables with eaters at 2:00 in the afternoon, and I realized I had stumbled into a "friends and family" soft opening.
"Opening day is Monday," said the server, "we'll have new menus then." The menu at San Dong Best will include all, or nearly all of the dishes on the Taraval St. menu (including the Xinjiang dishes, he said) and more. My guess is that at this inner Richmond location, a couple of doors from the fusion-ish new Fajitas Restaurant, they'll be aiming for a slightly more up-market dinner crowd, and I'm eager to see what they come up with for new Shandong-style entrees.
I inaugurated Shandong Deluxe with, the "plain broth" lamb noodles, though I requested wider noodles this time around. It turned out to be nearly identical to the dish I had had in 2012, a subtle, meat-infused broth (possibly born of pork bones) that was neither particularly medicinal nor spicy, just comfortingly unctuous, as lamb soups are wont to be. The noodles were excellent, wabe and chewy (and not skimped on). A couple of the tender lamb chunks had collars of fat on them, but nearly as much as I would like. There were quite a few mushroom slices in the broth, and the obligatory pair of Shanghai bok choi stalks atop. Ob balance, this was definitely an A-team bowl of noodles.
One mystery remains: why do they spell it "Shandong" in the Sunset and "San Dong" in the Richmond?
Where slurped: San Dong Best, 3741 Geary Blvd., San Francisco
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
|Curry Udon at Odang Udon|
Back in January I blogged about the joy of house-made, er, truck-made noodles from Odang Udon, a food trailer at an obscure small food truck venue, the Duboce Truck Stop. At the time I lamented the relative inaccessibility (to me, at least) of the spot; it's not on a major transit line nor in the vicinity of any of my customary destinations.
|"City Odang" at Odang Udon|
Where slurped: Odang Udon Truck, SoMa StrEat Food Park, 428-11th St., San Francisco.