Tu Lan

tu lan

How could Gridskipper post a feature on San Francisco’s best hole-in-the-wall restaurants and not mention Tu Lan? I mean, this place defines the term hole-in-the-wall.To begin with, it’s located in the unlikeliest place, Sixth Street between Market and Mission. But if you can step over the drunks you find yourself in a place that is … well, a little grimy.

Okay, maybe it’s the “best” part they stumbled on. But the food is generally good — hearty, unpretentious Vietnamese fare. I don’t eat there a lot, but I’ve been in a few times over the years, and you’ve got to hand it to this place, it’s consistent. I never got addicted though, like I did the the great Henry’s Hunan.

Incongruously, the menu features a rave from Julia Childs. Sure it’s from decades ago, but I swear this place never changes.

Omid T, over at Yelp, put it like this:

Grimy, grubby, filthy, sullied, icky, grotty, dodgy, sketchy, minging, manky, stanky muck.

Tasty, yummy, scrummy, nummy, gettin’ chummy in my tummy, get in line and order, dummy, like an Asian taco truck.

Goi cuon, Cha gio, Bi cuon, Banh xeo, Hoanh thanh, Pho bo, Mi xao, Bo xao, Xao rau, Bo xa, Tom kho, eat them up yo – none of ’em suck.

The health department, CDC, your church, your priest, and ministry, your HMO or PPO, the doctors and the dentistry wish you best of luck.

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  1. Nancy

    The great great Henry’s Hunan – oh yummy! That place had or has some —shall we say, some issues with clean – but when I’m scarfing down their Human Pork or any other spicy dish, I really don’t care. Besides, the hot chili kills all germs, doesn’t it? I haven’t quite had the courage to brave 6th St (single older woman here) but I’ll keep it in mind for the next time I with a group that wants to be adventurous.

  2. It’s not as great as Henry’s. Check out the mix of comments on Yelp before you go too far out of your way.