Local favorites when it comes to Asian food...read on!
I was born and raised on Clement Street in San Francisco (Inner Richmond), also known to locals as the second Chinatown. This street is full of great restaurants, Asian supermarkets, and bars. Living here gave my family quick access to amazing Asian restaurants that we frequented throughout my life. Throughout my high school and post college years I had the opportunity to branch out beyond Clement Street and have found true gems throughout the city, most costing less than $10 per person for a full meal!
Here's my list of favorites:
1. King of Thai: 639 Clement Street, $. This place is the best...and I am a Thai food lover. There are several King of Thai chain restaurants throughout the city. Although they carry the same name, they do not taste the same. My favorite is located on Clement Street between 7th and 8th Ave. It's tiny with only 8 tables and a small kitchen, but if you stand and watch them cook, you'll see they produce a ton of takeout orders which means this place is a true local favorite.
2. Osha Thai: 696 Geary Street, $$. Osha Thai is another that has grown to many different locations through the years. The first one is on Geary Street and is still my favorite, although all the other locations have upscale decor and a pricier menu. The one on Geary also stays open until 1am for late diners.
3. New Asia: 772 Pacific Ave, $. This place is huge and stays busy, especially on weekends during brunch hours where they serve small plates, known as Dim Sum. Waitresses cart around dumplings, fried wontons, and steamed buns while all you have to do is point and say "yes please." This place is delicious and cheap, but don't expect great service.
4. Good Luck Dim Sum: 736 Clement Street, $. This place has the ultimate dim sum but few eat in. Every morning between 9am-11am expect a 30 minute wait. It's a small hole in the wall but boy are the selections delicious. Service is far below average with women who will give you attitude if you take a second too long to order. If you want to avoid the lines, call your order in and wait at the end of the counter when you arrive to pick up your order.
5. San Tung Restaurant, 1031 Irving Street, $$. San Tung is another favorite that consistently has a wait outside during weekend dinner hours. The food is amazing and you sit in family style round tables where you generally share the food.
6. Brothers restaurant, 4128 Geary Street, $$. Brothers has been around for a long time and offers guests the opportunity to cook food at their table. If you love Korean food, you must try this place out. You will leave smelling like Korean BBQ.
7. Lahore Karahi Pakistani Indian Cuisine, 612 O'Farrell Street, $. This place serves authentic Indian food with very reasonable prices. You order your food at the counter and take a seat. If you like garlic...ORDER the garlic naan.
8. Kitaro Japanese restaurant, 5723 Geary Street, $. Once a week after high school I would come to this restaurant with my friends. It's good, cheap, and fast. They have great bento box offers and the salmon sashimi is the best I've had anywhere (taste, portions, cost).
9. Sushi Rock, 1608 Polk Street, $. What I love most about this place is that they offer dinner specials, happy hour specials, and ICE CREAM at the end of each meal. The food is good and they have some yummy sushi roll specials for reasonable prices.
10. Mandalay, 4344 California Street, $$. This is probably the most expensive of the bunch. They have become more and more popular through the years and is a strong rival to Burma Superstar on Clement Street with a shorter wait time. Their dishes are creative and delicious. This is probably the number one place I would visit on this list.
11. Mangosteen, 601 Larkin Street, $. I used to go here every week when I worked in the Civic Center area. This place has really great Vietnamese food. My favorite was the filet mignon cubes over garlic noodles. The pho noodle dishes are good too. Lunch during the week is the busiest, so make sure you arrive early if you don't want to wait.
12. Saigon Sandwich, 560 Larkin Street, $. This place has the BEST vietnamese sandwiches. It's another hole in the wall with a line going out the door most hours of the day. There are usually 2-3 ladies inside taking your order and making the $3.00 sandwiches. Try the meatball sandwich. Its amazing.
13. Yummy Yummy, 1015 Irving Street, $. My grandma keeps asking if we can go to this place whenver we have a family dinner outing. That says a lot from someone who cooks amazing food and criticizes everyones cooking but her own. Try the egg crepe filled with pork and veggies. The pho noodle dishes are also good here.