01 January 2009

San Sun in San Francisco Chinatown

SP and I ended up here the first time on a hunt for pho. We were originally headed for Joy Hing BBQ Noodle House next door, which Yelp recommended for chicken pho, but the signs at San Sun indicated they also had pho and we decided we preferred beef to chicken.

So, as Yelp says, San Sun has a picture menu and closes at 7 pm. I underestimated the size of the picture menu--it has more than 200 items! I was nervous about getting pho at first because I thought with all the Chinese items on the menu, maybe this was a better place to get Chinese food. The pho was good though. Again, maybe my standards are low after being in Michigan so long. Seriously, this could be the worst pho in San Fran and I'm sure it would be better than what we get in Ann Arbor. The first good sign was the huge plate of bean sprouts, lemon, and basil they brought out. (Um, in Ann Arbor you have to ask for basil. Yeah, that's how bad it is.) The meat came stacked up in the bowl so that parts of it were still rare--I never seen the meat come so rare so that was also impressive. I think it had a good amount of meat and also the meat had great flavor--again, compared to the tasteless meat I've had in Ann Arbor pho. The broth was a little greasy, but not enough to bother me.

Oh, and if you are into it, you can get fish balls and/or tendon in your pho.

With so many items on the menu, I was eager to come back again and got the chance a couple days later. After two expensive dinners, CC and QD wanted dinner for under $10. Remembering that most of the items at San Sun were $5-$7, I suggested it and we were off. After minor drama after realizing they only take cash, we figured it out (there is an ATM nearby) and then took forever looking at the menu. I finally decided on black bean beef and bittermelon with chow fun. Chow fun is my favorite (see the fat noodles in the picture) and I can't find it in Michigan! I also wanted bittermelon since I only eat it when my mom cooks it. The weird thing with this place was that I ordered by number since I thought that's why they number the items--to make it easier, but they messed up my order that way! So maybe it is better to order by description. Still yet though--even with the confusion--the food came out super fast. And the waiter didn't give me a hard time about it either.

CC ordered chicken lo mein which looked kind of beige and I think he was a little disappointed. He was like, "So is this what Chinese food is like?" I think he meant like real Chinese food. I was like I guess.

QD ordered sweet sour chicken I think, which is not my favorite.

They both thought my dish looked pretty--the bittermelon was really bright green. I offered that they could try it and I thought I warned them about the taste but maybe not enough. They didn't say much about the bittermelon. haha... but then I told them to try the noodles and I think they liked that. Anyway, I couldn't even finish my dish and ended up taking it back to the hotel and finishing it a few hours later.


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