San Francisco, CA 94109
hearing at this nearby bar
didn't anyone send me to Cordon Bleu six years ago, when I moved to this
land? Last week this place became an instant classic on my list of restaurants.
got a couple tables in the back, but you want to be at the counter here.
There you get a view of the tireless twosome cooking over a grill and
four burners, ancient pots boiling and chicken parts turned over and over
on the slats. The vent supposedly taking the smoke out the roof, well,
it doesn't work. By the time our meals came the failures called my eyes
were burning inside their contact-lensed shells. My pupils were being
slow-smoked, like brisket, but the hell with it, risk the irritation --
you want to see this man grill things with his long skinny gnarled arms.
they produce is heaping helpings of delicious Vietnamese füd: #5
(which we all got) came with things my fellow judges have already described,
so I'll tell you what I liked best: the grilled pork "kebab," which I
feared would lose some edibility after being turned hundreds of times
over the flames, but it came out perfectly charred and still very chewable.
even finish the füd, great as it was. That's how much they give you,
and at $7.40, well that's a five-dog bargain. However, we ordered a grilled
pork chop that we never received (but weren't charged for), and getting
the check proved to be nearly impossible, which brings my rating in just
shy of five. So close! Go eat there. (By the way, it's just two doors
down from the Lumiere theater.)
how this place brought back the memories. I hadn't been in years and I
had to ask myself why. It's too damn good to blow off. A hole in the wall,
yes, but one of the tastiest belly-filling meals around. What a treat
to sit at the counter and watch the master perform, a wiz at the grill
that man is. There are about 10 seats at the counter and a few tables
to accommodate groups of three or four.
a taste of just about everything on the menu I recommend the #5. Check
this out: #5 = 1/4 of a chicken, shish kebab, imperial roll, rice with
meat sauce and country salad, all for only $7.40 ($8.02 including tax).
The five-spice chicken is stupendous with those magical spices and yummy
flame-grilled flavor. The kebab is a thinly sliced piece of pork, once
again grilled to perfection and, oh yeah, full of flavor.
roll is filled with goodness and deep fried specially for you to a crispy,
crunchy texture that has few comparisons. A definite treat is the rice,
or more precisely the meat sauce on the rice. It may be there as a side
dish, for filler, but what a way to get filled -- it could be a meal in
itself. The country salad is like a slaw without the dressing, a refreshing
way to cleanse the palate between the taste sensations.
Brother and sister? Wife and husband? A couple of pals? And their back
room helper does a great job preparing, cooking, and serving you up a
fantastic meal. The place pretty much runs like a well-oiled machine.
Since my last visit they've added a few items to the menu. Some sort of
chicken salad and something, a noodle salad, that appears to be along
the lines of the infamous Bun Cha Gio Thit Nuons. I must give that a go
and I ain't waiting a few years this time to get my arse back to the Bleu.
So don't you waste any more time thinking about it. Get on over and give
the Cordon Bleu a try.
Bleu is a Vietnamese BBQ joint, not a French bistro, so keep that in mind
when you go. The operation would be quite at home in a shack just off
the highway, and the focus is solely on serving up heaps of tasty grub
cheaply. They succeed at that, no doubt.
at the counter, where I could have leaned over and snatched a sizzling
hunk of meat off the grill, or patted the grizzled grill man on the back
for doing such a swell job. We were basically sitting in the kitchen,
but then, so was everyone else. The place is SMALL. Don't forget the to-go
option, and if you eat in, enjoy the folksy BBQ shack atmosphere.
got a series of combo meals that should satisfy anyone, and we chose the
deluxe: Number 5. That would be a virtual tower of tasty Viet vittles.
The foundation is rice with a tomato meat sauce. Maybe that's the French
influence in Vietnam, who knows, but I know it's tasty and hearty. On
top of the foundation we find the five-spice chicken. I reckon that means
the Chinese blend called Five Spice is in the marinade, which is soaked
deep down into this extremely well-grilled bird. Damn that was good. Across
the mound we find the "shish kebab" which I think got misnamed in translation.
It's more like the thin pork slabs you find in Korean barbecue. Pretty
sure it was pork... This, too, is deeply marinated and char-grilled to
perfection and a little sweeter than the chicken. Oh lord. But wait! There's
more! Don't forget the jumbo crispy deep-fried imperial roll filled with
veggies and meat (very good) and the "country salad" on the side. Country
salad is cole slaw, but this one is not bad. Lightly dressed, just a little
something sweet and sour going on there.
bucks, this is an astounding value, and Cordon Bleu largely typifies what
The Füd Court is seeking. Solid eats without pretension. Although
they forgot our extra pork chop, we sure didn't need it. Our check was
late, but the waiter/cook/cashier had cut her finger. Both forgivable
for such a little gem of a place. Add it all up and you get a five corn
dog rating from this judge. Go get it.