3216 Mission St, San Francisco, CA | Directions 9411037.745140 -122.420189
Neighborhoods: Mission, Central East
Lotus Garden, very good Vietnamese Cuisine – Wow, Kathy ads a special touch, great customer service, fresh and tasty food, we live in the neighborhood and go quite often. We loved it so much we decided to have our Wedding rehearsal family dinner there, she did a private party for us, family style, great deal too. The temporarily closed for remodeling after a terrible fire next door caused water damage, she should reopen later this year, maybe by December, worth the wait! Love you Lotus Garden and Kathy.
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Too much money for too little food. – I don't usually have Vietnamese food delivered but I felt like trying something different tonight. I found Lotus Garden on yelp, another one for my overrated on yelp file, and thought I'd give them a try.
I ordered the raw beef salad for 8.95 and the Garlic Noodles with shrimp for 8.50.
They estimated that it would take 35 minutes and they were right almost to the minute. I heard the doorbell and opened the door to see that for some inexplicable reason the delivery guy put the bag of food on the ground. Right on the steps of my building where I hose off unmentionably foul things. I was not amused.
The raw beef salad was kind of bland until I put some of the fish sauce on it, then it tasted like fish sauce. Over all it was a very small salad but even so it was mostly cilantro and cucumbers. For $9 I expected a bit a lot more beef. The Garlic noodles with shrimp had no shrimp, not even one. I was noodley and garlicky; it was tasty but a small portion for $8.50? Give me a break!
The Best Vietnamese Cuisine in San Francisco – What sets this Vietnamese restaurant apart from the rest? The high quality and freshness of the ingredients. We love the BBQ pork, here it is always lean and tender. All of the meat is lean and lacks the hunks of fat and gristle that you get mixed in with your food at other restaurants. If all you order is the PHO you are missing out. We moved from Bernal to Mission Dolores a year and a half ago and we don't get there as much as we like. Six months passed between our previous visit and the one we made last Saturday night and we were still treated like regulars. Kathy commented that my husband was getting "his favorite dish the pork". Great food, exceptional customer service and an inviting space make this Vietnamese restaurant the best in San Francisco.
This is how all restaurants should be... family run, amazing food, real love for their customers. – I used to live walking distance from this neighborhood, and loved to get the pho and raw beef salad at Lotus Garden. That was a couple of years ago. Today, I was feeling under the weather and a craving for Lotus Garden struck. So, I drove over to look for my old haunt and was very sad to discover the restaurant was no more. Then, a miracle happened... I had resigned myself to driving a few blocks up and finding some "consolation meal" of a burrito or burger, grabbed a random parking spot, looked across the road and saw a newer, improved version of the same Lotus Garden! Is it really the same place I wondered?! I went in, to find the same owner, Kathy. Now if you are looking for great Vietnamese food, you can't go wrong with this place. But what really makes Lotus Garden wonderful is that Kathy and her husband (the chef) truly love making their food and serving their customers. Kathy said the new place has been open 16 months now (the old place they lost their lease I believe), but they aren't getting enough traffic to pay the bills. She may need to close if something doesn't change. That's why I'm writing this. Sometimes, you don't want a good thing to be discovered/overrun, but if people don't start going here it will vanish, and that would be a big loss to San Francisco. There aren't enough places with phenomenal food where the owner really cares, and you can feast for less than the cost of a movie. If you go, Kathy will be there, and she will answer your questions with a smile on her face and perhaps tell you about her dream of writing a cookbook. Hopefully she will someday because their food is incredible and we'd all stand to benefit from being able to learn how to make it ourselves.
Hidden Vietnamese Gem – We just stumbled across this place because our first choice, Blue Plate next door, didn't have any tables available. Almost passed it over because there were only 4-5 diners inside on a Friday evening, but that would have been a mistake.
We had a really enjoyable light dinner: just the garlic noodles with prawns, and the flaming beef with prawns which was cooked at our table by a ... flame .... and delicious. Washed it down with Saigon beer, which we were told is new there as the standard Hue brand wasn't being exported from Vietnam any longer. The Saigon was OK but I prefer the Hue.
Fried bananas with coconut ice cream for dessert. Mmmm.
The owner was very personable and made sure we felt welcome. We'll definitely be back.
Editorial Review – Serving authentic Vietnamese dishes including pork, chicken, seafood and noodles.
Undervalued - Must Try – This place has a few good reviews but whenever I've gone it's been dead. I don't want to have to wait, but they deserve more business and I'd hate to see them close!
The food is really good. Actually, I've only had the imperial rolls, chicken pho and crab - all very good! And the staff is very friendly too. I think they should turn up the heater or something b/c it's always cold in there.
Love the Phoa, Nice Owner – Cute little place, tho not fond of the flourescent green walls at their new location. Owner is super friendly, and there's usually no wait. Tasty soup base and abundant add-ons in the Phoa (beef noodle soup). Always very fresh produce served with soups, fried spring rolls. Service usually fast and friendly. A great addition to the Bernal Heights/Upper Mission neighborhood. We just wish it was closer to home!
Best Vietnamese Crab in Town! – Kathy has re-invented Lotus Garden. After a trial run on a previous Mission Street location, the new Lotus Garden (next to Blue Plate) is primed for huge success. After dining in SF for the past 14 years, Lotus Garden is hands down "one of the best Vietnamese restaurants in SF" without pretension. The sublime flavors and delicate preparation by the chef (Kathy's husband) makes for a truly memorable dining experience. New to this restaurant? Ask for the special Lotus Garden crab, sea bass, &/or crepe. Unlike other well known Vietnamese jaunts, Lotus Garden dishes are never drenched with butter. A must for SF "foodies" who are looking for the next bright star in dining.
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