The weather turned cool and gray enough today to contemplate noodle soup again for lunch. Coming back from the Financial District, I had the chance to stop in the Tenderloin to try one of Low End Theory's recs that I'd been curious about. The banner outside proclaims combo beef noodle soup (pho) as specialty, but the menus inside also show special egg rolls (cha gio dac biet, $5.95) and seafood and meat noodle soup (hu tieu, $4.95) as specials of the house too.
I went with the seafood version which came with a light (as it should be) and greaseless chicken stock with no discernable trace of MSG (and an hour later, I don't feel any ill effects). The amount of fresh wide rice noodles was generous, probably near half a pound. Partially submerged and piled upon the noodles were an assortment of snowy white fish balls, thick slices of criss-cross cut poached squid, a couple of deveined prawns, slices of char siu roast pork, and slices of fried fish cake. Some green leaf lettuce still crisp but semi-wilted by the hot soup, chopped coriander, the jagged edged veggie that I don't know the name of, and bits of green onion also garnished the bowl. A whole salt and pepper fried prawn crowned the whole shebang, high above the stock to stay crisp. A mix of soy sauce and sriracha for dipping, and I was in business. Nicely done.
Vietnam II Seafood Restaurant [Tenderloin]