It’s been 100 days since we moved in to Brick & Mortar Music Hall, our lunch and soon-to-be brunch spot on Mission and Duboce. We wanted to let write a post updating you on our new space and team:
We’ve cooked to different music in all the shared kitchens we’ve used since we started three years ago. Our first commissary was a Mexican bakery in the Mission, so often there was Latin music blasting. It was a bit divey, and had many tenants struggling to find space on the stovetop — and in the food world.
There was one kitchen that played reggae music everyday, nonstop. And one that would shoot us dirty looks as they were trying to conduct a salsa class in the dining room as we were in the kitchen, banging pots and pans, trying to wash up our dishes for the night.
We’ve seen and heard the best and worst of it. And we’ve grown from it. But at a certain point in life, you get tired of having fighting over the stovetop and the iPod (or nowadays, the Spotify station.)
Luckily we came across Brick & Mortar, which is our first kitchen and restaurant space, which also happens to be a music venue by night.
People ask us how it’s going. And we often tell them it’s like getting our first apartment: we can decorate it how we want and set it up to work for us. The success of our space is something we are in control of. (Like getting a 100 score on our last health inspection. Whoot whoot!)
We are also stoked on our kitchenmate Lucy Go Bake, who we chose to share our space because of her amazing desserts and positive energy.
Having our restaurant means that we can finally play our own music.
We are stoked to have a great team of folks who are down with pop music as much as we are. Our kitchen is a place where top 40’s and indie stuff reign supreme (as well as playlists titled “Shit My Parents Listened To.”) We sing along to the radio during lunch and much pleasure comes from coming up with weekly playlists for our lunch, and now upcoming brunch service.
A bi about our team: our oldest employees are Felicia and Tim. Felicia started out as an intern and could be seen dancing in two videos we filmed in the summer of 2012: the ocho ocho (a FIlipino dance) on Fresh off the Boat and she choreographed a dance sequence in our Bieber music video.
Nowadays she’s managing our catering program, and if you ever had a hot bowl of pho in your office, Felicia was the one who made sure it was delivered and done up real nice for you. Tim has been helping us execute our catering for the past year, and has the meanest 80’s playlist you’ve ever heard.
Our lead cook Christian comes from the Underground Market world, as one of the owners of the The Uncommon Pickle. His contribution to the “Shit My Parents Listened to Playlist” was Shania Twain and Celine Dion. Debbie has been holding down Thursday nights with us at Mojo, and will be making your Fried Egg Banh Mi’s alongside Christian during brunch. She knows the words to “Let it Go” as well as we do.
When you come into Brick & Mortar, chances are you’ll hear happy pop music radiating from our kitchen. We hope you’ll enjoy the jams and food in our new home.
We’re excited to start lunch service this coming Monday, February 10th, at our new restaurant space at Brick & Mortar, located on Mission and Duboce.
Where is that? Well, it’s kind of underneath the freeway on Duboce (or 13th or Division or whatever you want it call it), close by Zeitgeist, near the friendly folks Scuderia and Public Works, and just a hop, skip and a jump from our friends at Four Barrel and Voyager.
Got it? Here’s a map just in case:
On the menu will be soups and curries and banh mi to keep you warm and toasty and going throughout the day. See more below.
What’s Brick & Mortar? They’re rad folks who book up-and-coming bands every night of the week. The venue was open during the day — and we jumped at the opportunity to serve lunch in this awesome hood.
Once we get things going, we’ll be open every weekday for lunch and brunch on weekends.
Excited to have you join us in our next chapter.
Lunch at Brick & Mortar
Monday - Wednesday* / 11am- 2pm
1710 Mission Street at Duboce
*Monday - Friday in March
Pate Chaud - 6 savory handheld pie with ground chicken, chicken liver pate and wood ear mushrooms
Mushroom Pate Chaud - 6 savory handheld pie with a shiitake mushroom and cream cheese pate
Banh Mi Op La - Fried Egg Banh Mi - 9 fried eggs with cha lua (Vietnamese ham), housemade mayo, chicken liver pate, daikon pickles, cilantro and jalapeños. can be made vegetarian.
Pho Bo - Hanoi-Style Beef Pho - 13 hanger steak and fresh rice noodles in a six-hour broth. served with shaved onions, cilantro and jalapeños.
Ca Ri Chay - Yellow Vegetable Curry - 13 Madras yellow coconut curry with fried tofu and market vegetables, served with rice.
Cafe Sua Da - Vietnamese Iced Coffee - 3 a shot of slow-dripped Trung Nguyen coffee with condensed milk
Brick and Mortar Music Hall is a cozy music venue in the Mission with nice decor and even nicer people that run it. We are excited to take over their kitchen and we plan on serving lunch there Monday through Friday in early 2014. Think of it as our permanent pop-up or temporary brick-and-mortar.
Until then, pull up a little red stool and join us for Vietnamese brunch on the first day of the new year and our new space!
Valerie, Katie and the Rice Paper Scissors team
Ham Sui Gok - Fried Mochi Dumplings - 8
fried mochi dumplings filled with pork and shiitake mushrooms
Mushroom Pâté Chaud - 6
puff pastry filled with ground chicken, pate, and wood ear mushrooms
(+) add a fried egg - 1
Dry Fried Chicken Wings - 11
crispy chicken wings served with a lemongrass and chili glaze
Breakfast Banh Mi - 9
two fried eggs and cha lua (Vietnamese ham) with housemade pate, mayo, daikon pickles, cucumbers and cilantro
Vegetarian Breakfast Banh Mi - 9
two fried eggs with housemade pate, mayo, daikon pickles, cucumbers and cilantro
Hanoi-Style Beef Pho - 13
fresh rice noodles in beef broth with hanger steak, shaved onions, cilantro, scallions and limes
Vegetarian Ca Ri - 13
Madras yellow coconut curry with market vegetables. served with rice, buttered baby carrots and dill
Jasmine Tea - 3
Vietnamese Iced Coffee - 3
shot of slow dripped Trung Nguyen coffee with condensed milk
Kumquat Ginger Beer - 3
housemade ginger beer with candied kumquats. cure for the common hangover.
Full bar from Brick and Mortar bar - bloody marys and mimosas for all!
People eat pho here for dinner, but in Vietnam it’s often eaten as breakfast. Pho Ga (or Chicken Pho) will help take away any hanger (anger due to hunger) or hangover or hangry hangover you might have.
We also have two rice plates, starting with Bo Ne (Steak and Eggs) Rice Plates — tri-tip steak served with two eggs, chicken liver pate, grilled onions and tomatoes over jasmine rice.
Eggs and Rice Rice, our vegetarian rice plate, has two eggs, stir-fried yuba (or tofu skins) and an assortment of grilled veggies. It’s served with com do ca chua, commonly known as red rice, which is rice fried with tomato paste and garlic.
For a sweet treat, Katie Kwan will be frying up housemade steamed buns to make Vietnamese beignets, topped with cinnamon and sugar and served with a coconut jam.
See you on Saturday!
Valerie, Katie and Felicia
Photo by Melissa Rachel Black
Ham Sui Gok - 8 fried mochi dumplings filled with pork and shiitake mushrooms
Mushroom Pâté Chaud - 6 puff pastry filled with ground chicken, pate, and wood ear mushrooms
(+) add a fried egg - 1
Pho Ga - Chicken Pho - 13 fresh rice noodles in ginger chicken broth, served with poached chicken, shaved onions, culantro, scallions and lime leaves
Pho Ga Long - Special Chicken Pho - 15 same as above plus poached egg yolks and confit chicken gizzards
Bo Ne Rice Plate - Steak and Eggs Rice Plate - 13 tri-tip steak and two eggs with chicken liver pate, grilled onion, tomatoes served over jasmine rice
Com Do Ca Chua - Eggs and Red Rice Plate - 13 two eggs, grilled vegetables and stir-fried yuba served over com do ca chua (tomato and garlic fried rice)
Dessert and Drinks
Vietnamese Beignets - 6 fried steamed buns with Vietnamese cinnamon and coconut srikaya
Vietnamese Iced Coffee - 3 shot of slow dripped Trung Nguyen coffee with condensed milk
Suan Mei Tang - Smoked Plum Tea Sparkler - 3 smoked plum and hawthorn tea with housemade ginger ale
Our pop-ups at Dear Mom have always been a special experience for us: we get to serve food in the Mission, where we spend most of our time cooking and working.
At last Sunday’s Pho Night, the support was so overwhelming that we sold out of food early in the night. We would have loved to have fed every person who came out, but we will have to save that for the next time.
Special thanks to Andria Lo for capturing the pho in photos and Amanda Luu for foraging liquor bottles and putting beautiful flowers in them.
A few weeks ago, we were asked by TEDxPeacePlaza to speak about about “What’s Possible.”
We spent a few nights in the office, mulling over the question with some tequila; getting nostalgic about the past two years.
We reflected on our first pop-up on February 2011. We started Rice Paper Scissors with a small grain of an idea: set out some stools and sell food on the sidewalk, just like vendors do in Vietnam. From there, we kept doing a pop-up every month, moving into bigger and bigger spaces, growing more ambitious with our menus and execution.
That first night in Feburary 2011, we learned it was possible to create a little restaurant from nothing, and that people would be adventurous to go out and try snail pho on a small terrace on Valencia Street.
Then we found Mojo Bicycle Cafe a few months later, and turned that into our weekly restaurant, where we’ve spent every Thursday for the past two years.
At Mojo, we learned how having a restaurant (even if its only once a week) makes it possible to experience the joy of seeing familiar faces — groups of friends meeting over banh mi, watching babies grow into toddlers.
For awhile, we tried to figure out how to grow our team. Was it possible to make it something bigger? Rice Paper Scissors has been our full-time jobs for the past two years, but now we’re happy to report that it also includes Felicia (our Catering and Event Manager) as well as Tim, Jimmy, Jake and Eric — our team of strong and talented cooks.
When we started two years ago, we didn’t know what was possible. But thanks to our staff, extended community of friends and regulars, we now have a better idea.
Thanks to everyone who’s been a part of Rice Paper Scissors. Whether it’s at Mojo or at one of our pop-ups, we are humbled by people who come out to adventure with us. We are here to feed you Vietnamese food - something different, something tasty, something that we hope you feel was a new discovery.
What’s next? We now know that it’s possible to build a restaurant where we can all get together, not just every Thursday, but most nights out of the week.
To another year of pop-ups … and hopefully a restaurant by our third birthday!
Pho weather is upon us. It’s crispy outside, which is why we’ll be bringing three types of noodle soups to enjoy for Sunday Night Dinner on November 17th.
First up, we have our Hanoi-Style Beef Pho. It’s made with a six-hour broth with sliced hanger steak and thick noodles that we pick up fresh everyday from our purveyors in the Mission. Make it Dac Biet (or Special) with extra add-ons of beef brisket, beef balls and tripe.
The Banh Canh Cha Ca has all its components in the name. Check it:
Banh = noodles (and in this case, thick housemade tapioca noodles, similar to udon) Canh = soup (a fish, pork and tomato broth) Cha Ca = fishcake, more specially, a dill cod fishcake, the lead singer in a seafood and pork ensemble including fish balls, pork shank and shrimp
Lastly, our Buddha’s Mien is a tribute to the vegan noodles we once had in the Mekong Delta: glass noodles with fried tofu, kabocha squash and braised daikon in a star anise and mushroom stock.
We’ve got small bites to share: dry fried chicken wings, potstickers, and mushroom pho rolls and warm red bean mochi pancakes.
See you soon!
Pho Cuon Chay - Mushroom Pho Rolls - 8 (vegan) fresh rice noodle rolls filled with beech mushrooms, fried tofu, and Thai basil. served with nuoc cham chay.
Dry Fried Chicken Wings - 11 crispy chicken wings served with a lemongrass and chili glaze
Pork and Ginger Potstickers - 9 served with soy and red vinaigrette
Kabocha and Shiitake Potstickers - 9 (vegan) served with ginger scallion oil
Hanoi-Style Beef Pho - 13 fresh rice noodles in beef broth with hanger steak, shaved onions, cilantro, scallions and limes
Pho Bo Dac Biet - Special Beef Pho - 15 same as above plus brisket, blood cubes and tripe
Banh Canh Cha Ca - 13 fish and pork noodle soup with a tomato broth, housemade tapioca noodles, dill fishcake, fish balls, pork shank and shrimp
Buddha’s Mien - 13 (vegan) bean thread noodles with fried tofu, kabocha squash, yuba and braised daikon in a ginger, daikon, mushroom, and star anise broth. served with scallion, onions, jalapenos, cilantro and limes
Red Bean Mochi Pancake - 5 a la mode with Fish Sauce Ice Cream - 8
Blood: Our soup, Banh Canh Cha Ca (or Fish and Pork Soup with Tapioca Noodles - pictured above) will have huyet (blood cubes) floating alongside housemade tapioca noodles, dill fishcake, fish balls, pork shank, and shrimp.
What are blood cubes exactly? It’s coagulated pig blood formed into cubes, common in Vietnamese soups such as rice porridge and Bun Bo Hue and other noodle soups. It adds a great texture and mineral taste. Even when I was a vegetarian, I found myself fishing for them in my rice porridge (instead of fishing them out.) Food writer Andrea Nguyen wrote an excellent explanation of blood cubes during her investigation of Pork Blood Pho.
Guts: The Eight Treasures Rice Plate will feature spicy tripe with pickled turnips along with seven other treasures: Bo Luc Lac (Shaking Beef with Parmesan and lemon), seared cabbage with dried shrimp, grilled okra with housemade XO sauce, salt-and-pepper tofu, roasted kabocha squash, soft egg and dua gia (pickled bean sprouts).
Pumpkin: In cookie form! Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies will be served as part of our housemade cookie assortment.
Bonus photo: Last year’s Halloween costumes. Katie as Danny Bowein, me as an Asian pear.
Come in your costume and bring the kids - we’ll have Asian Halloween candy to share!
We rarely get girly (kitchen life makes it hard) but we always love an excuse to. Macy*s is throwing a happy hour to celebrate fall fashion with free after-work fun complete with a nail/braid bar, clothing styling and food.
Introducing our late summer and early fall specials: Eight Treasures Rice Plate and Banh Canh Ca.
The Eight Treasures Rice Place is our way of recreating the family meal, but in one bowl. There’s usually a bunch of small plates in a typical Vietnamese and Chinese family meal: greens, pickles (sometimes two types), meat, cooked vegetables, fried things, sauteed things and so on. The idea is a mixture of textures, flavors, acidic and earthy things.
There will be new treasures for you to explore each week! Pictured here: soft egg, chicken confit, crispy tofu and celery in Sichuan oil, galangal and caramel eggplant, buttery scallion corn, seared cabbage with dried shrimp and pickled bean sprouts.
'Tis the season for Early Girl Tomatoes — and we have them here in our Banh Canh Ca, a seafood and tomato noodle soup. Salmon fishcakes, fish balls and cha lua (Vietnamese ham) accompany housemade tapioca noodles, which are similar to Udon noodles in thickness and texture.
Try it this week and till the end of October at Mojo Bicycle Cafe, 6-10pm. Full menu here.
The Autumn Moon Festival is the time of year to eat mooncakes. So we made our own called Banh Pia, a Vietnamese version with lotus seed paste, candied coconut and salted egg. It’s similar to the molded Chinese ones you see around, except it has a flaky crust.
Step by step photos with Katie as the chef and hand model.
Soaked lotus seeds
Lotus seed paste with candied coconuts
Salted duck egg
Putting our stamp on it
Part of the Autumn Moon Festival is sharing them with family, friends and business colleagues. We biked around the Mission and handed them out to our favorite vendors, starting with Duc Loi Supermarket on 18th and Mission.
Here, Amanda (Duc Loi’s owner, banh mi maker, and overall mother figure to us) gives us her approval.
We also left a mooncake with the folks who make our rice noodles fresh everyday in the Mission.
We’re celebrating the Autumn Moon Festival this Friday with a pop-up at Virgil’s Sea Room, a new bar near Mission and Cesar Chavez.
Enjoy a moon-inspired menu in Virgil’s beautiful (and heated!) back patio, which will be lit up by our silk lanterns and the full moon.
The Autumn Moon Festival is the second most celebrated Vietnamese holiday (after the Lunar New Year). Taking place the 15th day of 8th lunar month, celebrations involve moon gazing and getting down on some grub.
Our menu features bar bites that symbolize all things round and whole (just like the moon!)
And the holiday wouldn’t be complete without mooncakes, a dense tea cake made out of sweet lotus seed paste with a salted egg yolk in the center. This yearly treat is meant to be shared with family and friends - so come partake in some mooncakes and moon gazing this Friday.
See you there.
- Valerie, Katie and Felicia
Autumn Moon Festival Friday, September 20th Virgil’s Sea Room / 3152 Mission Street 6pm-10pm bar bites, cocktails, mooncakes and moon gazing
Last year we got in because of your votes. And now we’re excited to be back with one of our all-time favorite street food dishes: Grilled Baby Octopus.
We discovered the dish in Saigon, and loved it so much we went back three times during the course of our trip. Grilled Baby Octopus is sweet, smoky, and speared with little toothpicks for easy eating. Marinated in fish sauce and caramel, it’s served with rau ram (Vietnamese coriander), salt and pepper, lime, and a housemade sweet chile sauce.
A few weeks ago, we started our June/July menu with Ca Ri Ga, yellow coconut curry and Bun Cha, grilled pork patties served with banh hoi (netted rice noodles).
The Ca Ri Ga is inspired by Valerie’s stepmom’s recipe, which calls for yellow curry, chicken thighs, steamed taro and sweet potatoes, enjoyed spooned over a side of rice. We also added local Thai eggplant, lemongrass, lemon verbena, and the most precious baby carrots to make it our own.
The Bun Cha is a dish from Hanoi, and actually Katie’s first street food dish when she landed there in 2010. It holds all of summer in its many small plates; first comes the grilled pork patties, swimming in sweet fish sauce vinegar along with crisp slices of green papaya.
Next comes banh hoi (netted rice noodles) steamed into a porous cake; perfect for soaking up sauce. They say banh hoi is eaten during special occasion, though we see no reason to eat it every day.
Finally, there is the herb plate: a mountain of red lettuce, red shiso, mint, rau ram, and sprouts. Armed with a bowl and chopsticks, you can mix and match to your heart’s content.
We are so excited to start summer with these dishes. Come give it a try on Thursdays, 6-10pm at Mojo Bicycle Cafe. See ya soon!
Ham Sui Gok (pronounced HUM-SOY-GOK) is a dim sum dish we put on our menu during the Lunar New Year and haven’t taken off!
Katie discovered them on her trip to Hong Kong last year and fell in love with the fried mochi dumping. The outside layer is a subtly sweet crispy and chewy mochi. Inside you’ll find a savory pork and shittake mushroom filling.
Our Lucky Mission Festival in February came to be because we wanted to celebrate the Lunar New Year with the traditions we enjoyed growing up — but with more booze and dancing.
Usually, the Vietnamese/Chinese New Year is celebrated in the family home, with meals and red envelopes filled with money (not bad things, at all!).
However, we wanted to reimagine it and make it a holiday that more people can get into. After all, it’s about food, family and friends — and we can all use more of that in our lives.
The result: a month of pop-ups and partying!
We kicked things off with the Good Luck Biagarten, an indoor beer garden reminiscent of casual drinking spots in Vietnam. You could buy beers by-the-bucket OR the bottle.
The Potsticker Party was a casual cooking class we threw to teach people a new craft. People made Pork and Squash potstickers over beers and got to enjoy the fruits of their labor in Good Eggs HQ in the Mission.
To get people raging for the Lunar New Year, we hosted the Lion Dance Party at the Verdi Club. Lion dancers from the Chung Ngai Dance Troupe broke it down to “Sexy and I Know It” — combining the old the new. DJ Spinnerty spun classic party jams (everything from Robyn to Christina Aguilera) while 12FPS held it down on the photobooth.
(Best Chinese lion dance photobomb ever.)
We hope you’ll join us for next year’s Lucky Mission Festival!
Photos (top to bottom): Pete Lee, Akia Graybill, 12FPS
We picked up kabocha squash from Thanh Ho Farms, one of our favorite vendors at the Heart of the City Farmers Market. During the winter, they introduced us to kabocha squash.
Kabocha can be found year-round offers a super sweet taste. Vung Ho and his mom (the proprietors) told us how they enjoy making a Kabocha and Sparerib soup. We followed suit for a staff meal and liked it so much we put it on our Mojo menu for a few weeks.
To make the savory, buttery soup, we started out with a chicken stock made from a whole chicken. We blanched the spareribs, rinsed them and added them to the stock, and let it boil for two hours.
Afterwards, we threw in sliced kabocha and simmered until it became tender. To top it off, we added culantro and Thai chiles.
The soup can get nice and thick as it reduces in the pot, and of course, pairs perfectly with a side of rice.
The Lunar New Year is often celebrated with a Tray of Togetherness, a circular or octagonal tray of different treats that represent the start of a sweet new year. Since the Chinese consider the number 8 to be extremely lucky, there are 8 compartments around one central compartment.
Traditionally, they represent these types tenants of the new year:
Candied Melon: Growth and health Coconut: Friendship and unity Kumquat: Gold and prosperity Longan: Many sons and daughters Lotus Seeds: Fertility Seeds: Joy and happiness
In celebration of the holiday, we bought a Tray of Togetherness, got down on the candy, and then refilled it with our interpretation. Here are the old school and new school trays, side by side: Storebought tray (let): Candied lotus seeds, candied ginger, candied melon, sesame brittle, and condensed milk caramels.
Our take (right):Candied kumquats, dried persimmon, sesame brittle, candied ginger, licorice caramels, pepitas (roasted squash seeds.) We mixed what we love about these trays (persimmons and ginger) with candies we’ve been curious to make (licorice caramels and rock candied kumquats.)
On a particularly warm MuuMuu Wednesday, we were shared this tray with our pals at 12FPS and Amos. We drank Vietnamese coffee, ate banh chung, and got together over these sweet treats.
Today marks the first day of the Lunar New Year! New to New Years? Check our video on How To Say Happy New Year In…
Lunar New Years is very important to us because it also marks our second year in business. We’ll be spending the day relaxing with our loved ones and resting up for our the Lucky Mission Festival, a month long Lunar New Year celebration.
For now, here is a look at New Years past.
KK slinging Chicken Pho and Imperial Rolls at Pop Up #1, Tet Holiday Pop Up, Febraury 2011.
Valerie showing off the one item menu at Cha Ca Va Long, Hanoi February 2012.
Let this new year bring you good health and good food.
We love how cuisines can mesh together and evolve to become it’s own thing. The dishes from our Dungeness Crab House took from not only Viet-Cajun cuisine, but also traditional Vietnamese and New Orleans specialities.
For example, the Crawfish Etouffee Bouchee (pictured below) was a combination of the Vietnamese Pate Chaud (puffy pastry filled with meat) and Creole etoufee (thick seafood stew) - but made with a thick crawfish and sea snail gravy.
Lucky Mission Festival: Party Like It’s The Year of the Snake
We’re celebrating the Year of the Snake by throwing the Lucky Mission Festival, a month-long series of events that reinterpret, reimagine and reintroduce the traditions and foods of the Lunar New Year.
Meanwhile, adding more booze and dance music along the way!
We’re kicking things off with the Good Luck Biagarten, a pop-up beer garden and mess hall this Saturday, February 9th.
Also on the list: a family-style dinner, potsticker class and a pop dance party complete with Chinese lion dancers. More details below.
May this year bring you good health, wealth and pop-ups,
Valerie, Katie, Akia, Emily and Zoë
Good Luck Biagarten Vietnamese beer garden and mess hall
Where: Saturday, February 9, 2013 When: 6-10pm Location: Florida Street Cafe, 710 Florida Street
Bia = beer in Vietnamese.
To kick off the Lunar New Year celebrations, we’re throwing a mess-hall slash indoor biagarten inspired by Vietnam streetside bars. On the menu: dishes that will bring you good luck in the new year. More here.
Tết Holiday Banquet prix fixe Asian family-style meal
Canceled due to unforeseen circumstances.
Potsticker Party Potsticker making class, complete with snacks, beer and tea
Where: Good Eggs, 530 Hampshire, #301 When: Sunday, February 17th, 4-7pm Tickets: $40 / purchase here
Get down on this age old tradition: a potsticker making party. Learn how to roll and fold two types of dumplings (pork and squash) while snacking on Vietnamese sticky rice and beer. You’ll leave with new skills, extra potstickers and hopefully some new friends.
Lion Dance Party classic party jams and Chinese lion dancers
Where: Verdi Club, 2424 Mariposa Street When: Friday, February 22, 8pm-1am. Doors and dinner at 8pm. Music at 9pm. Tickets: $10 (advance), $15 (door) / 21+ / purchase here
Rage like it’s the Year of the Snake. Also, get down on classic party jams spun by DJ Spinnerty of Grown Kids Radio as well as Vietnamese street food, a full bar and Chinese lion dancers.
Date: Saturday, February 9, 2013 Time: 6-10pm Location: Florida Street Cafe, 710 Florida Street
To kick off the Lunar New Year celebrations, we’re throwing a mess-hall slash indoor beer garden inspired by Vietnam streetside bars. (Bia = beer in Vietnamese.)
The menu consists of items that bring good luck in the new year — such as Ham Sui Gok, fried mochi dumplings stuffed with pork and shrimp, and Vietnamese Imperial Rolls. Since they look like ancient money, they’re eaten to bring in more bucks.
Our beer list will contain our favorite local and imported brews. A-la Vietnam, we’re offering beers by-the-bucket so you don’t even have to get off your little red stools to get another cold one. Boom.
(v) vegetarian (vg) vegan (g) gluten-free
Taro Chips (v) - $5
Cha Gio - Imperial Rolls (g)- $7 fried rice paper rolls with shrimp, pork, cabbage and taro. served with lettuce, herbs and nuoc cham. Long in shape, these rolls are like gold bars. Wealth in the new year!
Ham Sui Gok - Fried Mochi Dumplings - $8 filled with ground pork and shrimp Since they look like ancient Chinese money, you eat them for wealth in the new year.
Banh Chung - Tet Sticky Rice Cake - $6 sticky rice with ground pork and mung beans, steamed in banana leaves The filling resembles the different layers of the earth - a humble representation of the earth we live in. Mains
Buddha’s Delight (vg) - $8 cellophane noodle stir-fry with tofu, shitakke mushrooms, woodear mushrooms, lily buds and roasted ginko nuts A vegetarian meal is often eaten to counterbalance to the richness of the new year festivities.
Pho Ga - Chicken Pho - $12 fresh rice noodles in housemade chicken broth, served with poached chicken. served with shaved onions, scallions, jalapenos, culantro and limes. The broth is made from whole chickens, giving rise to prosperity, family, and joy. Fresh rice noodles symbolize long life!
Thit Heo Kho - Caramelized Pork and Egg Rice Plate - $11 spareribs braised in star anise, coconut water and fish sauce, served with a soft egg and broken rice This classic Vietnamese New Year dish, represents family with whole eggs, symbols of life and fertility.
Dan Tat - Chinese Egg Tarts - $3 sweet egg custard tarts Whole eggs, the symbolism of life, shine through these tartlets.
Crab season ain’t over yet — and we’re not letting it pass without doing it up Cajun-style (and just in time for Mardi Gras!)
Our next installment of Dungeness Crab House is inspired by Vietnamese Cajun seafood restaurants, popular in San Jose and Garden Grove in Southern California — cities with large Vietnamese populations.
Seems random, but like every fusion of cultures, there’s a backstory. After immigrating to the States, many Vietnamese families settled in the Gulf Coast, where “boiling points” or crawfish houses reign supreme.
Like any good New Orleanian, the Vietnamese also have an affinity for rice, spice, and seafood. Inspired by Creole cuisine, Viet-Cajun joints came to be — with an added Southeast twist of lemongrass, muoi tieu chanh (a lemon, salt, and pepper dip) and garlic noodles to go along with boiled crustaceans bathed in butter.
These restaurants are known in Vietnamese as “quan nhau” — basically, a restaurant where you can get crunked.
So in true Vietnamese and Louisianan spirit, come dine and be sure to leave the table with empty crab shells and beer bottles — always a sign of a good time.
We started 2013 with a New Year’s Day Brunch a new pop-up location: Whiz Burgers, located on 18th and Van Ness.
For a while this location intrigued us. We weren’t sure who owned it or how to approach them to do a pop-up. Our curiosity pushed us to ask anyway.
We met John Kim, whose father owns Whiz Burger, one day at the take-out window. John told us that Whiz Burgers has been around since 1955. Twenty years ago, his father owned a liquor store on 14th and saw that Whiz Burgers was for sale — so he bought it. It’s been run by the Kim’s ever since.
Since Whiz Burgers was closed for New Year’s, the Kim’s allowed us to pop-up in the space for our brunch. “I wanted to support another small business,” John said.
Thanks to the Kim’s for letting us pop-up and everyone who came out to start 2013 with us!
And don’t forget to get a fresh banana shake and seasoned fries from the Whiz sometime this year :)
And we accomplished this while watching forageSF and our other Underground Market vendors build their business from the ground up: Nosh This, PizzaHacker, Mission Cheese, Sour Flour, Homeroom, Josey Baker Bread and countless others.
We all grew up and became legit — therefore the market was no longer “underground.” Iso felt like it was time to move on and focus on building Forage Kitchen, a commissary kitchen for small businesses like ours.
He wrote on his blog about the closing: “The market was a moment in time, a great time, an exciting time, and one of the things I am most proud of creating. I’ve come to realize that it has served its purpose, and now we need to focus on taking the next step in this movement.”
The photo above is also a marker in time. It’s funny because in the two years we all hustled the market, I don’t think Katie, Iso and I have ever had a spare minute to pose with each other.
Now we both have more streamlined businesses, allowing us to step away from hustling to snap this picture. This is our graduation photo.
We look forward to what the future has in store for Forage Kitchen and all of us that have been through the Underground Market. To the next adventure!
A few weeks ago we threw our second Dungeness Crab House, a dinner celebrating the Bay’s favorite crustacean.
This dinner had us on the edge of our stools. In the week prior to the event, the crab fishermen went on strike (as they did the year before) due to a price dispute between them and the wholesalers.
We wanted to support the fisherman so we had a back-up plan (Bass Haus!) in case they didn’t resolve the strike before the dinner. But luckily all was worked out two days before the dinner. Phew.
Also on the menu: White Truffle Garlic Noodles (another treat of fall/winter) as well as Jasmine Tea Shaved Ice — a great excuse to bust out the Korean shaved iced machine we scored at a garage sale near our office.
Another crab dinner is scheduled for January. Stay tuned!
So last week, I had my typical Friday morning routine:
7:00am Wake-up 7:30am Wake-up again, and actually roll out of bed 7:35am Put on clothes 8:00am Get onto the crazy 71 Noriega-Haight bus to my RPS internship.
But once I got into the office, a surprise awaited me; I was greeted with a giant loaf of bread from Katie, “Here, we got a Luke’s Local Meal Box today!”
Last week, our friends at Luke’s Local sent us a personalized meal box. Their box is a customizable combination of produce, pre-made meals, and local snacks and pastries. We were able to select what we wanted in the box and sent to our office. It’s sort of like Mary Poppins’ bag with whatever food you desire instead of medicine.
The bread Katie handed me was a nice alternative to the usual Sausage, Egg & Cheese McGriddle I grab on Eleventh St and Market. I’m too groggy to even consider making myself something when I wake up in the morning before I stumble out the door.
After I got settled into the office, we sat down outside on our little red stools and started chowing down on the chef’s meal of the week: Dungeness Crab Mac & Cheese and Stewed Beef prepared by Jesse Manuel.
Even when it came to working outside of the office, the box was a useful treat. It provided on-the-go snacks during the Dungeness Crab House last Saturday when we were in a time crunch; Josey Baker Bread and Nana Joe’s Granola came to our rescue after Valerie swooped them up as we rushed out of the office. It was great to be able to pull something different out of the box when we were craving something quick.
Now that the holiday rush is replacing our office hustle, my friends and I are all about the Secret Santa gift exchange. The meal box is definitely something I’m considering to personalize for my friends.
Every season we bring in a new group of badass interns to help make RPS events happen. Here’s a look into a our fall/winter team, filled with punk rock photographers, former fashionistas and event planner extraordinaires.
Akia Leigh Graybill Photography Intern
Currently residing in Downtown Oakland, Akia is a high school sophomore who has witnessed three UFO sightings. Living in the Bay for a good three years now, Akia digs the metal scene and would normally be found watching Dr. Who or Battlestar Galactica. Her palate favors savory and spicy foods, whether it’s on a pizza, sushi, or a pork bun.
Current Food Obsession: PHILLY CHEESESTEAK. There is no better cheesesteak than at the Cheese Steak Shop. Other than that, a baked pork bun, Oakland’s Chinatown has the best on 8th Street.
Emily Koh Social Media and Events Intern
A media studies major at the University of San Francisco, Emily decided to take her fashion knowledge from the runways of New York to the little red stools of San Francisco. Raised in a Korean-American household where both parents grew up in Brazil, Emily has eaten her share of BBQ with a side of Brazilian salsa and kimchi.
Zoe’s career at San Francisco State University was turbulently undecided before she landed on the RPS little red stools. Now with a focus in event management, Zoe brings her experience from managing and promoting the LA party scene to the Bay Area food scene. Zoe’s affinity for food introduces her taste-buds to all the flavors San Francisco has to offer. Nevertheless, she still affirms you can’t go wrong with a simple bowl of mac & cheese.
Current Food Obsession: Potatoes … and cheese, always.
Note: We’re crossing our claws in hopes that the crab fishermens strike will be resolved by next week. If not, the dinner will become The Bass Haus with an alternate main course of steamed whole fish with rice wine, ginger, and scallions.