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San Francisco Bay Area Vietnamese

Shake shake shake, shake shake shake, shake your Bodega… Vietnamese in the Tenderloin, San Francisco


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Shake shake shake, shake shake shake, shake your Bodega… Vietnamese in the Tenderloin, San Francisco

grayelf | Nov 20, 2008 09:00 AM

On Sunday, Nov 9 we met up with the BIL for a trip to Heart of the City Farmers’ Market, the Veterans’ Day Parade, shopping at Union Square and some Vietnamese food.

I had been curious about the “shaking beef” at Bodega Bistro (607 Larkin at Eddy) for a while and finally got the chance to sample it at lunch. After nabbing the last empty table which happened to be right in the front window, we started with the nom or papaya salad, an ethereally light version with super thin strands of the signature fruit and lots of mint, cilantro and flecks of deliciously chewy beef jerky dotted with Rooster hot sauce in an artfully presented crunchy haystack of intense flavour. This dish came very quickly and we all enjoyed it but then there was an interregnum before our mains arrived. In fact, the service was pretty spotty for the rest of the meal, and the music was downright horrendous.

Fortunately we weren’t in a hurry and the food was worth the wait. The BIL and I both had the bo luc lac which is called shaking because of the way it is flung about in the cooking utensil, not because of any disturbing plate antics. It appears beef stewy but its pedestrian looks belied a complex spicing and tenderness (the cut was filet mignon per the menu) that was proclaimed stellar by all. It came with a lemon pepper dipping sauce that added a nice lift, and of course a bowl of rice. The SO had soup on the brain and ordered his standard pho thai which had excellent broth, well prepped noodles and decent accouterments, though the basil was a bit brown. I neglected to note the prices but I think the total bill was around $40 for the four dishes, so pretty reasonable. I am now on the hunt for bo luc lac in Vancouver and have two leads so far – I wonder how it will stack up.

See also the following links for all our other food-centric ramblings this trip if you're interested:

Tadich Grill
Blue Bottle
Lime Tree
Canteen dinner
Farmers Markets
Bar Tartine
Canteen and Café de la presse breakfasts
La Ciccia
BonBon Patisserie
Anchor Steam SFO

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