The trendy Vietnamese favorite Turtle Tower has moved down the street, and it seems they left their quality ingredients behind with the new occupant, Golden Lotus. Not only is the food better at Golden Lotus, the prices are far more reasonable, the place is clean, and the service is fast and friendly. Northern-style phở uses a slightly wider rice noodle, and while Turtle Tower’s broth lately seems watered down, the broth for both the beef and chicken versions at Golden Lotus are rich and redolent with spices such as clove and star anise. Phở gets much of its flavor from the bones, and because the owner is a butcher, he uses the best cuts of rib eye, which is unusual for most hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese spots. The lotus root salad with pig ears and shrimp is also a must-try on the small menu.
Tip: It’s family run and open until 7:30 p.m. (Turtle Tower closes at 5 p.m.).
Not to Miss: Beef phở, chicken phở, lotus root salad.
631 Larkin Street (at Eddy), 415-345-1355