8 Sixth St, San Francisco, CA | Directions 9410337.781898 -122.410050
Neighborhoods: SoMa (South of Market), Central East, SoMa
Worst Vietnamese food EVER – I went to this place based on the numerous positive reviews, and boy, what a disappointment. This was very bad Chinese food masquerading as Vietnamese food. Everything was bland, tasteless and, frankly, gross. The food (rice plate) was overcooked, soggy, and the pho was not pho--it tasted like salty dishwater.
Fast, Tasty and inexpensive Lunch – I am woking around Market and Powell.
My frined took me to this place for lunch(1hour) and I liked it. I expected restaurants to give me tasty food , not SERVICE, so this palce and also locaton was perfect for me!
We, 2 of us, ordered 2 iced tea ,2 small paltes and 1 noodle and we shared. We even couldn't finish all.
The food was served fast and I could get back to work without being late.
I want to go back there and try different menu soon.
Brave 6th Street for Good, Cheap Vietnamese – Going to and dining at Tu Lan is an experience . . . visiting 6th Street reminds you just how varied our fair San Francisco is. Getting there may not be dangerous (though it looks as if it would be), but it should remind you that any great city has an underclass that has fallen through the cracks. That said, the energy in Tu Lan can be scary as well -- there's some much going on with their stove top! -- but they put out quality, traditional Vietnamese, quickly and cheaply. It's worth the trip!
Disappointed - there's much better Vietnamese – Whenever I try a Vietnamese restaurant for the first time - I always try the Pho or the BBQ Pork with eggrolls and usually the spring rolls. Pho was not on the menu - the BBQ Pork with eggrolls at Tu Lan was below average. The portion was huge but the pork slices were way too big and thick and the eggrolls were too large and not very tasty. I also ordered the spring rolls - the wrappings were dried out and the peanut sauce was runnier than I like. It's definitely a hole in the wall so it's not for the faint of heart. I saw another customer order a fish dish that looked tasty - but I'm not too likely to return for Vietnamese here.
Julia Child knows her stuff – Walked into Tu Lan and ordered my usual at every Vietnamese joint I've been to since I was a kid-- rice noodles with charboiled pork and eggrolls or, here at Tu Lan, the number 17: Pork kebabs with imperial rolls over rice noodles. A great dish that's seen its days on Julia Child's plate, apparently. Food came out in less than 3 minutes. It's in and out here, folks. Don't sit around and shoot the bull too long here because they'll wait around for you to leave so they can usher in the next lucky ones in that long line during dinner hours. Good prices, good food, though my friend's noodle dish was a little too salty. I'd eat here every day if I knew my cholesteral could take all that fried goodness...
A great scene of chaos and heavenly dishes – I love going here- it is just a terrific scene. Just have them sit you at the bar and take in the show- these people know how to prepare Vietnamese! There are woks and pans flying around, flames lashing high and just amazing dishes appearing out of the air. The food
is fantastic- just expect to wait a bit. No glamour, but insiders know it is cool.
no second time – Small, smokey, crowded place. I was seated infront of the cooks. I dont have a choice because I dont want to be seated on the second floor, because it was dark and confined and hot. Nothing special about the food. But the servers are great.
dirty oil – This place is so bad. It's cheap, but what I love about Vietnamese food-- heck any food-- is fresh ingredients. This place just serves up oily hot stuff fast and cheap. I guess it's diner-like in that respect. But man, Vietnamese food can be so good! Obviously some people really like it, and that's cool. But it doesnt taste like Vietnamese food. Period.
If I was drunk... – Tu Lan always seems to make the Top 10 list and I always question why. Being Vietnamese, having been to ,many Vietnamese restaurants all over the world-I would say this is the worst place I have ever eaten Vietnamese food. When I did eat here, I was coming from a night at the bars. Most of my friends had rant and raved about the place, so my hopes were high.
Everyone in the place seem to love it, except for me and my boy. And what I noticed is that everyone was drunk, so of course they loved it. Not only were they drunk, but they were broke from spending so much cash at the bars, so they had maybe, $5 to their name. Enough to get a plate of food from Tu Lan. I say save that $5 and eat Ramen at home..
blech – While definitely qualifying as a "hole in the wall", this place has lousy food and lousy service. The service is on par with the neighborhood, and forgiveable. But the food is way overrated. Hardly authentic, this isn't even a good take on Vietnamese cuisine. Catfish soup served with enough pineapple (?!?) to make it as sweet as cake. Greasy meats on as bland as cotton balls. I get the impression that this place thrives because it's got a critical mass of customers who think of it as a "find", not because of any standout quality. If you want pork cakes or steamed catfish like mom makes, this ain't the place.
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