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Tenderloin

Monday, August 8, 2016

Haute Hipsters Eat Funnel Cake at Huxley

Posted By on Mon, Aug 8, 2016 at 8:00 AM

Funnel cake - A. K. CARROLL
  • A. K. Carroll
  • Funnel cake
Earlier this summer, I was on a family vacation in Colorado when my sister and I walked by a funnel cake stand.

"Here's the thing about funnel cake," I told her. "It always smells amazing, but then I get it and I taste it and it never lives up to my expectations."

Consequently, I have not ordered funnel cake in eight or 10 years. Or, at least I hadn't until last week when I made a visit to the Tenderloin's Huxley, where funnel cake is the culminating item on the dessert menu. If not the piece de resistance, it is at least a notable novelty, with an odd combination of textures and flavors that come from a nest of crisp hot fried batter that encircles a creamy boule of ShakedownSF's hazelnut, chocolate, and coconut milk-based T'Ella sorbet, and sits on dabs of sticky sweet grape jelly. The whole thing is sprinkled with flakes of toasted coconut.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Pak Nam, in the TL, Doesn’t Fear the Heat

Posted By on Wed, Apr 27, 2016 at 2:00 PM

Squid with lime. - YELP/PAK NAM
  • Yelp/Pak Nam
  • Squid with lime.
It’s been at least a year since I couldn’t handle the spice level at a Thai restaurant, so my reliance on napkins-as-tissues at Pak Nam was humbling.

If you’re the kind of person who — at least occasionally — fetishizes the nasal-passage-clearing purification ritual that is a good dose of chili, do stop into 655 Larkin, in the heart of Little Saigon. The price is right and the décor is lusterless, making this a great in-and-out lunch spot in a neighborhood already brimming with them — but it’s especially rewarding for people who dare venture out of the Bermuda Triangle of pad thai, pad see ew, and spring rolls.

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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Jasper's Serves "Interesting" Pub Food in the Tenderloin

Posted By on Thu, Apr 21, 2016 at 1:30 PM

Duck fried tater tots
  • Duck fried tater tots

“Interesting. Oh, that’s so interesting!”

This was the single most common phrase uttered when my parents joined me for dinner at Jasper’s Corner Tap and Kitchen late last month. Nebraskans in their late 50’s, my parents had never visited the Tenderloin. Even if they had, though, Jasper’s may have seemed an anomaly. The avant-garde gastropub went through a menu makeover when it was re-written by executive chef Adam Steudle last November. Newer concepts like vegan ramp hush puppies and fried rabbit and waffles received mixed reactions from locals looking for steak fries and sliders from a hotel watering hole.

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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Tender Loving Food Brings Burmese Back to the T.L.

Posted By on Thu, Apr 14, 2016 at 4:30 PM

Burmese tea leaf salad. - PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane
  • Burmese tea leaf salad.
There is plenty of Vietnamese food in the Tenderloin, but Burmese food has been in short supply after Burmese Kitchen on Larkin Street moved to the Inner Richmond. That’s no longer the case now that William Lue of Grocery Café in East Oakland has opened Tender Loving Food at the corner of Eddy and Leavenworth, directly opposite the Tenderloin Museum. If chicken noodle soup is meant to restore ailing bodies to health, then this coconut chicken noodle chowder works double to keep you staying strong on foul, windy April days.

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Friday, April 1, 2016

EAT THIS: Nitrogen-Cold Popcorn at Jasper’s Corner Tap

Posted By on Fri, Apr 1, 2016 at 9:30 AM

Can you see the nitrogen off-gassing from this bowl of caramel popcorn? - PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane
  • Can you see the nitrogen off-gassing from this bowl of caramel popcorn?
Smitten Ice Cream famously uses liquid nitrogen to make its scoop-at-a-time ice cream. (Founder Robyn Sue Fisher won’t divulge every last secret about her method, but that nitrogen has to be colder than -230 degrees Fahrenheit, or it would boil away.)

Chef Adam Steudle at Jasper’s Corner Tap in the Tenderloin has gone down a similar Mr.-Wizard’s-Supermarket-Science route with his liquid nitrogen caramel corn ($8). Why? Chilling popcorn down to subzero temperatures freezes the caramel which, instead of returning to a Cracker Jack-like quality upon coming up to temp, becomes buttery and smooth again. (You don’t need to worry about a filling coming out, although you might have to eat through the fear.) Like virtually every salty-sweet popcorn creation, it’s impossible to resist wolfing it all down, and the serving size is neither bar-snack skimpy nor as large as the giant mixing-bowl portion of kimchi popcorn at the Alamo Drafthouse.

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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Mom's in the TL Has a Lemongrass Beef Bun Mi

Posted By on Wed, Dec 2, 2015 at 5:16 PM

PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane

I’m pretty sure John Keats wrote in one ode or another that “a new banh mi shop in the Tenderloin is a joy forever.” Newly open at 520 Leavenworth is Mom’s Bun Mi, a small sandwich shop that splits the difference between the banh mi strategies of San Francisco's best places.

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Monday, November 30, 2015

Tortellino, Inside The Hall, Is Pasta Like Nonna Made

Posted By on Mon, Nov 30, 2015 at 11:02 PM


Meat tortellini with marinara, and ravioli with bolognese. - PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane
  • Meat tortellini with marinara, and ravioli with bolognese.

Most of the enterprises that go into The Hall — the wonderful and sadly temporary gathering place of food-stands on Market between Sixth and Seventh streets — are local in nature. They come from local folks who are tired of working for other people and want to strike out on their own, hoping to slowly build a fan base and a modicum of credibility before expanding. 

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Whitechapel Blossoms on Polk Street

Posted By on Thu, Oct 29, 2015 at 10:30 AM

ALI WUNDERMAN
  • Ali Wunderman
If you’ve been dying to party it up in a Victorian-era London underground station, now’s your chance. The team behind fan favorite Smuggler’s Cove invites you to explore the wide world of gin at their latest venture, Whitechapel, named after the East London neighborhood famous for its gin production and the prostitute-murdering Jack The Ripper.

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Friday, October 2, 2015

Mr. Holmes Has a Ton of New Stuff

Posted By on Fri, Oct 2, 2015 at 4:26 PM

img_0246.jpg

Who doesn't love a pastry shop that makes its own sauerkraut in-house?

Mr. Holmes Bakehouse, the Tenderloin bakery that has seize Instagram by the throat, becoming the punching bag for people who mock their fellow San Franciscans' willingness to wait 45 minutes for commonly available foodstuffs, has had a hell of a year. A bizarre burglary and sudden staff departures marred their ascent into the pastry pantheon. Nothing can stop Aaron Caddel, though, and there's a new menu for fall, that includes cookies, doughnuts, cruffins, and danishes. It isn't readily available as a list, however, because not every item can be had all the time. So if you go, you're playing Cruffin Roulette. (Warning: There's a delicious bullet in every chamber.)

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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Rove Kitchen's Fried Chicken Sandwich and Burger Are Instant Classics

Posted By on Tue, Sep 1, 2015 at 8:00 AM

The Rove Burger - TREVOR FELCH
  • Trevor Felch
  • The Rove Burger

Let’s get this out of the way — the TenderNob’s almost-five-month-old Rove Kitchen has no relation to and is not inspired by the close advisor to the somewhat controversial 43rd POTUS. That is a curious thought to think about but a restaurant devoted to Karl probably would fair a little better in, say, Crawford, Tex., compared to San Francisco.

The menu might be ragingly conservative in terms of number of choices at Rove Kitchen but both sides of the political aisle (and of Market Street) will agree that the two constants — a fried chicken sandwich and an elevated onion heavy cheeseburger — already can claim spots among the city’s elite in those competitive genres.

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