Party Earth Review Satisfying everyone from grungy concertgoers to hurried corporate types rushing Downtown, Tu Lan is a classic Vietnamese dive where home-style grub is served up with little fuss and even less chatter. Nestled in an area... ... read full review
8 6th Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
BART: Powell, Civic Center
MUNI J, KT, L, M, N, S: Powell; MUNI F: Market Street & Taylor Street
SoMa, San Francisco –
Satisfying everyone from grungy concertgoers to hurried corporate types rushing Downtown, Tu Lan is a classic Vietnamese dive where home-style grub is served up with little fuss and even less chatter.
Nestled in an area most people tend to drive right through, the venue’s low prices – it’s not hard to fill up for $5 – clearly help it stand apart from its less-than-sumptuous surroundings.
Inside, patrons in a rush line up at the counter pressed against the open kitchen, where they can watch the chefs prepare plates of beef, rice noodles, bamboo, more rice, chicken, shrimp, and more noodles.
Larger groups looking to sit down for a full repast can dine and dish at heavily worn tables, each rammed against walls decorated with traditional Vietnamese tiled artwork. Busy waiters scurry among the consistent throngs, doling out orders and venturing into a smaller rear dining area, or upstairs to a second room where expat regulars who want to escape the lively bustle enjoy a quieter atmosphere.
Quick eats and close proximity to stalwart venues like The Warfield concert hall, the famed Orpheum Theatre, and a litany of strip clubs make the restaurant a prime grub stop for performance buffs of all varieties, be it of music, Broadway, or...in the buff stuff. But it doesn’t matter where anyone is going after they drop in to Tu Lan. What matters is they leave full, and with plenty of bills left over for the rest of the night.
An amorphous variety of broke college kids, hurried businessmen, concertgoers, theatergoers, Vietnamese expats, and Tenderlocals, 20s to 40s+.
Listening to the loud chatter of the Vietnamese tongue and trying to get the chef to smile.
Extensive menu of authentic home-style Vietnamese cuisine including several noodle and rice dishes, seafood, and full entrées like beef sautéed with ginger and marinated pork with bean cake.
Appetizers $5–$6, entrées $5.50–$8, specials $11–$33 (serve multiple people), desserts $2.50. Beer $2–$2.50, wine $2.50/glass and $6.25/carafe.
Come as you are: suits to sweaters to graphic t-shirts to downright dapper theater dress, though clearly über-casual is the name of the game.
Before a concert at The Warfield, a show at The Orpheum, or any day for lunch or dinner to experience a packed and smoky house.
Louisiana Famous Fried Chicken (6 Sixth Street) takes a home-style approach too, serving up cheap deep-fried chicken, fish, shrimp, and gumbo that no doctor would ever approve of.