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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Uh, Can You Find Tempeh in the Tempeh District?

Posted By on Thu, Mar 31, 2011 at 2:14 PM

click to enlarge Tempeh. Not from the Tempeh District. - VEGANBAKING.COM/FLICKR

In one of its regularly scheduled publicity stunts, PETA wrote to Ed Lee this week asking him to change the name of the Tenderloin to "Tempeh District." I'd consider the change ― Jones and O'Farrell will forever be known as "the Tandoorloin" after a Chronicle piece many years ago. One niggling question, though: Can you actually get tempeh in the neighborhood?

Here and there. Millennium

(580 Geary) is currently offering a sweet soy and chile-glazed tempeh

with seared bok choy, coconut red rice, and kohlrabi-cucumber salad for

$24.95, and the Indonesian restaurant Borobudur

(700 Post) naturally has tempeh goreng for $5.95 and oseng oseng tahu

(tofu and tempeh) as part of its $27.50 rijstaffel menu. Other

vegetarian Tenderloin restaurants such as Ananda Fuara and Golden Era don't serve the cultured soybean product.

I just returned from canvassing the neighborhood markets, where I

spotted bags of za'atar, dried white fungus, a man hawking bubble

machines (corner of Larkin and Eddy, if you're interested), and a

taqueria I'd never noticed before, but no tempeh. You'll have to cross

Market Street to go to Harvest (Eighth Street at Howard). But that's leaving

the Tenderloin and crossing into SOMA. Not much of a tempeh district at

all.

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Jonathan Kauffman

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