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After watching the progress on this new restaurant every time I drove south on 19th Avenue in recent months, I headed to Guilin Rice Noodles House for lunch on getting the word that it had opened. On Black Friday it had a steady stream of customers in early afternoon. This restaurant is independent of the local chain of Classic Guilin Noodles.
I ordered C1. House Special GRN, $13.95, because it includes a little of every topping. That would be golden crispy pork, marinated beef, marinated pigs ears, and marinated beef tripe. The broth served on the side's quite light and mild. I added a couple spoonfuls to help loosen up the skein of thin rice noodles.
Most of the flavor impact comes from the couple spoonfuls of crunchy green bean discs steeped with vinegar and chile flakes, along with the scallions, roasted peanuts and seasoned soy sauce. Of the meat toppings, the crisp skinned slices of pork belly were quite nice, but only two pieces worth. The pigs ears were sliced so thick that instead of providing a crispy tooth, they were unpleasantly tough. The beef trip was undercooked for my taste and so rubbery. Also rubbery was the overdone marinated egg. On the other hand, the beef shank meat was on point with tender meat shot through with soft gristle and balanced seasoning.
At this point, though it's worth a try, Guilin Rice Noodles House is not a craveable thing for me. With so many other Chinese eateries in the neighborhood that I like more, it might be a while before I'm back.
Guilin Rice Noodles House
901 Taraval St. (@ 19th Ave.)
San Francisco, CA
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