Back to the Future as Sam Wo re-emerges [SF]

Upon reflection, you are right. It was the New King Tin that had the Health Department problems. The original King Kin was nailed for egregious wage violations.

Thanks so much. That is more similar to the story I heard. Thanks. I guess those shop owners told me the truth. (I wasn’t there when King Ting shut down, so we chatted the “why”).

From what I heard, I would only say the wage violation is only the last nail in the coffin.

Michael Bauer gave Sam Wo a positive review. Considering he only gave it two stars and provides no negative commentary about the food, despite only giving it two stars for food, he seems to be reviewing it for what it is.

I’d avoid it over the next few days— last

Has Sam Wo always been so hopping on weekends with the tourist crowd? At 1:30pm last Saturday, it took my party of one over 30 minutes to get seated. Food comes quickly though, and the BBQ pork rice roll and fish porridge (lots of ginger) were both excellent.

Sam Wo is mentioned in an SFGate article about 13 “essential” cheap places for Super Bowl visitor to go to, including 5 with prohibitively long enough waits when it’s not the Super Bowl.

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Chinatown was mobbed Saturday by food people in town for the Good Food Awards and the Winter Fancy Foods Show. I imagine some of them made their way to Sam Wo. Did they have the upstairs open?

Had dinner at Sam Wo on a weekend last month. Never got a chance to try it in its previous incarnation. I had the shredded pork and thousand year old egg jook with a side of youtiao. I liked the jook and they were generous with the pork and egg. The rice congee itself was good but not quite as flavorful as my favorite at Gum Kuo in Oakland. Youtiao unfortunately was a bit stale, like it had been sitting around for awhile. Service was very friendly.

Yes, I ate upstairs! Cozy and clean. I’m surprised they don’t have two-tops pushed together-- there were tables intended for more than two people that had unoccupied seats. Or maybe they’re constrained by fire codes (a sign on the bottom floor said 21 people max, I don’t know what it is for the top floor).

Off-topic, but its not just Sam Wo to avoid that week. Its probably good to head out to the Avenues/ Tenderloin to eat, and on game day, avoid the valley all together.

So they didn’t replace Edsel Fong after all.

Beef stew/tendon dry noodle. Very good.

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i think there is some pickled/sweet bok choy leaf inside the (cold) bbq pork rice noodle roll, a nice touch

Late lunch today at 2:30 pm on a Friday. Tables are full downstairs - upstairs there are 3 two-tops available. Service is friendly and attentive - very sweet.
We enjoyed the bbq pork rice roll, fish jook, and beef chowfun. Everything was good.
We’ll return for more late lunching - before 4 pm.

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Yes, mostly, tourists. A few locals - like us.

The tomato beef noodle is very popular there, maybe because the serving is so large. Only token very thin slices of beef and the sauce seems to be mostly ketchup but it’s comfort food I guess.

Discretion is the greater part of valor. Imagine the sexual harassment lawsuits. On the other hand, imagine some very entertaining Yelp reviews. …

Tomato beef chow mein was a staple of Chinese-American food in San Francisco Chinatown 50 years ago, and I downed plenty of it while I was still on the back end of the Chinese food learning curve. However the sauce was made, it always included chunks of actual tomato, as in your picture, and beef that had seen too much baking soda. Comfort food it was indeed, and we liked to refer to it as “Chinese spaghetti.”

I wonder whether it was a west coast thing, at least I don’t recall seeing much of it when I was growing up back east… maybe it was around but we just never noticed, being too distracted with giant bubbly skin egg rolls filled with shredded cabbage etc

East Coast Chinese was also in the thrall of Moo Goo Gai Pan – probably because it was so much fun to say.

Had the chicken jook ($7.50) at Sam Wo for dinner recently. Slices of chicken were good and tender, not overcooked. Texture of the jook was fine too. Broth was lacking in flavor though unfortunately.

Much better were the BBQ pork rice noodle rolls ($4.99), which apparently are a signature dish. Served slightly cool. The rice noodle wrapper is thicker than you would find in a cheung fun, but quite springy with good texture, not doughy. Filled with char siu, strips of fried egg, and some slightly crunchy cilantro, with a small container of sinus clearing hot mustard on the side.

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Honghe Hani Rice Terraces, Yuanyang County, Yunnan
Credit: inkelv1122, Flickr