San Fran Icon...

Thursday, November 27, 2008 Posted In , , , , , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
... Sam Wo's. I wondered if MM got it completely wrong when he directed me to walk into this dirty little restaurant in Chinatown.

It is supposed to be a favourite with locals and tourists alike but I was not sure we had come to the right place when I looked through the front door. "Is this the back door? Kitchen entrance? Stables? Pig trough?"

You are supposed to go in here. You walk through the kitchen and up the narrow stairs. All the utensils and plates are on a filthy cupboard thingie against the wall. The tables and chairs are old and nasty. The walls and floors are stained and icky. (Keep your hands to yourself if you know what's good for you.)

There is a dumb waiter that the grumpy waitress pokes her head into and yells some scary-sounding Chinese down. The service is indifferent at times, surly at others. Apparently, "grumpy" has been working there for twenty years and told one friend's date, "You no like blocolli? Look! Is good!" and proceeded to eat it.

For all it's faults (and there are many), this place is legendary. It has been in business more than 100 years and it looks like it. Apparently, the previous owner used to make the customers get their own drinks and serve themselves whilst he was insulting them. "You retarded? We no serve coke in here! Look on menu! No fork... chopstick only!"
If you want to go there, be careful to keep the kids away from the balcony. It's a 2nd floor dive to disaster. "Grumpy" herded the children away from it more than once. "No go there!"
The food was good... and cheap. I recommend it if you want to have an unusual experience to reminisce about. ("Remember the time we all got e.coli? Oh, the memories!")

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