1. Pho Night in Photos

    image

    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.

    View the full photo set here.

    Stay dry, keep warm, eat pho.

    Valerie, Katie and Felicia

     image

     

  2. Recap: Lucky Mission Festival

    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.

    Untitled

    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.

    image

    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.

    image

    (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

     

  3. Southeast Cajun Boil: A Take on a Take

    image

    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.

    image

    image

    image

    See more photos our Viet-Cajun dishes here.

    Photos by Patrick Kawahara

     

  4. Beginning the New Year at Whiz Burgers

    image

    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 :)

    image

    image

    image

    image

    image
    Photos by Andria Lo
    See full set here
    More photos from Doc Pop here

     

  5. The Whiz in Analog

    image

    This year, we were lucky enough to have our New Year’s Day Brunch photographed by Doctor Popular.

    He’s a fellow Mission District dweller who does everything from DJing to building LEGO dioramas.

    While hanging out with us, he got behind-the-scene shots inside the Whiz Burgers.

    Using his Minolta SLR and rolls of expired Konica film, he captured the vibes of the iconic burger joint.

    See more photos on Doctor Popular’s website here.

     

  6. 2012 in Pictures

    Our visit from Anthony Bourdain aired on TV

    Traveled to Vietnam

    image

    Landed our first office and commercial kitchen (where we did an awesome shoot with Refinery29)

    Had our first interns

    image

    Who helped us produce our spread in Food & Wine

    image

    And a music video

    Which we made to try to get voted into the SF Street Food Festival (it worked!)

    image

    Afterwards, went on tour with The Bold Italic (and Allan, who snapped this pic)

    image

    Came home and gave Eddie Huang a tour of the Asian side of the Mission

    Squeezed in a few end-of-summer camping trips

    image

    Which inspired The Camp-In movie night

    image

    Brought back the Dungeness Crab House

    image

    And said goodbye to the Underground Market, which started it all.

    2012 was an adventure. We look forward to 2013 being a year of more first’s, popping up in crazy locations, traveling and learning new dishes — and doing it for all of you guys.

    Come celebrate the beginning of 2013 at our New Year’s Day Brunch tomorrow at Whiz Burgers!

    Cheers,

    Valerie + Katie + the RPS team

     

  7. Dungeness Crab House 2

    Untitled

    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!

    Valerie + Katie

    Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled

    More photos from the amazing Pete Lee here

     

  8. Wet Hot Camp-In

    Untitled

    About a month ago, we hosted The Camp-In, a pop-up dinner and movie night with our Mission neighbors Alite Designs and The NWBLK .

    With Alite’s camping gear coupled with our little red stools, we transformed The NWBLK into an indoor campground. 

    It was a dinner and movie night, but instead of driving in, our guests camped in to watch Wet Hot American Summer — which was pretty appropriate with the rain that night.

    Staying true to the movie, we got hot AND wet cooking up pho and banh mi outside.

    Despite the downpour, we were stoked to see folks come out to enjoy the show (and our Bulleit Bourbon S’mores)!

    To top off the sweet night, we got a shout out from David Wain, one of the creators of the movie.

    image


    Untitled

    Untitled

    image

    image

    Untitled

    More photos here.

    A big thanks to our partners Alite Designs and The NWBLK for their help making this happen.

     

  9. The Bold Rush: Los Angeles

    IMG_8882

    This past weekend we wrapped up the first leg of The Bold Rush, a West Coast tour with The Bold Italic that showcases SF goods. Our first venture was to the ever-so-sunny Los Angeles, where we did a pop-up at Poketo, a beautifully curated gift shop.


    Downtown LA during the day

    The Bold Italic folks put us up in an Airbnb in Downtown LA, which we shared with videographer Eric of High Beam Media and Allan Hough, ping pong party master behind American Tripps.

    Our detailed “Guest Handbook” had two notable instructions: 1) Absolutely No Partying!!! (emphasis, theirs) and 2) that we were welcome to use their “not-so-glamorous” rooftop pool and jacuzzi.

    Little did they know that we hail from SF, a land of no-swimming-pools and constant 65-degree weather (save for the last few days). Needless to say, we very much enjoyed the weather and Airbnb amenities.

    IMG_8881

    We consider The Bold Rush as a kind of “cultural exchange.” Along with The Bold Italic, we’re bringing our SF/Southeast Asian vibe to our West Coast “sister cities” and The Bold Italic folks will document interesting things in each city.

    Here’s Sarah Han of The Bold Italic and Eric filming Angie, one of the co-owners/sweethearts at Poketo. Their brick-and-mortar is located in the beautifully industrial Arts District of LA, which we would recommend exploring. After a trip to Poketo, get a bratwurst and beer at Wurstkuche, an indoor biergarten next door (note to SF: We need one of these), and then dessert at The Pie Hole, a cute pie shop across the street.

    IMG_8868

    The Bold Italic brought a trunk show of SF goodies to LA, including lots of local art and handmade goods. Although there were lots of local goodies too — members of Beachwood Sparks played a free show and we got down on some Peach Cobbler pie from The Pie Hole.

    IMG_8884 At the pop-up, Katie’s sister Ming Ming came to help out, since Katie was in NY for a wedding. Thanks Ming Ming!

    LA was a great way to start off our trip! Tomorrow we’ll be hopping on a plane to Portland and then finishing off at the end of the week in Seattle. See you in a bit, SF!

    — Valerie

    More shots from our pop-up at Poketo:

    IMG_8901 IMG_8893 IMG_8896 IMG_8905 IMG_8909

    More photos on our Facebook page.

    Read The Bold Italic’s recap in words and pictures!

     

  10. SF Street Food Festival - By the Numbers

    • 2,982 views on our Justin Beiber parody video
    • 1,000 Beef and Mushroom Pho Rolls served
    • 800 Daikon Cakes fried up
    • 200 shots of Vietnamese Iced Coffe poured
    • 18 hour work day
    • 10 awesome folks on the RPS team
    • 6 hours Katie Kwan was hawking on the street
    • 5 miles Josh, our runner, ran around the Mission to re-up on supplies
    • 1 bottle of Bulleit to celebrate
    • 1 well-deserved Uber ride home

    The SF Street Food Festival was the challenge and pinnacle of our summer. First, being a part of the Whole Foods Local Forager contest where we had to rally up friends, customers, and strangers to vote us into the festival. I guess Justin Bieber works charms!

    Then, figuring out a menu item, a process, and a crew that could work fast, so nobody had to wait around for their street food. (That is the whole point of street food, after all!) We consulted SFSFF veterans Hapa Ramen and Wise Sons for pointers. Favorite part: Richie talking about tent set-up while breaking down a pig in his kitchen. Multi-tasking at it’s best.

    On the day of, all our detailed lists and planning came together. Our team hustled. Josh literally ran around the Mission to buy more ingredients for the Beef Pho Rolls, and at one point ran a 50 pound box of fresh rice noodles from 16th and Mission to our booth on 22nd and Folsom. Katie got jacked on our Vietnamese Iced Coffee and put the “hawker” in hawker fare for the entire day. I expo’d like it was nobody’s business.

    Y’all came and ate. Some people said the Beef Pho Rolls were their favorite was their favorite dish. One customer spoke to Mission Loc@l how our Daikon Cakes are deep-fried, not pan-fried, for ultimate crispy pleasure (something Katie picked up in Hong Kong.) Those comments warmed our hearts!

    Best way to end the day? Unloading at our kitchen, then kicking off our clogs and realizing “Oh shit, we served over 2,000 folks in 8 hours.” A bottle of Bulleit and Uber car ride home later (which I fell asleep in), we went to bed, happily exhausted.

    The following Monday, we celebrated with an amazing dinner at State Bird, combined with a tearful goodbye to our summer interns. Katie and I both took the week off to hang out in the sun (she in Tahoe, me in Maine) and now we’re back, ready to do it again at the Eat Real Festival next weekend in Jack London Square. So excited.

    Insta-credits

    1. The crew! (via @ricepapersf on Instagram)

    2. Fried Daikon Cake up front, Beef Pho Roll in the back. Taken by Felicia Chanco. (via @ricepapersf on Instagram)

    3. Katie, taken by Omar (via @streetfoodsf on Instagram)