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Best Dive Restaurant San Francisco 2006 - Cordon Bleu

Cordon Bleu

Cordon Bleu

1574 California

San Francisco, CA 94109

415-673-5637

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If there isn't room to squeeze into one of the eight seats at the Formica counter that fronts the open grill or at one of the three tiny tables tucked in the back, pick up the Cordon Bleu specialty — delicious Vietnamese grilled chicken — to go. It seems beside the point to talk of either décor, seemingly unchanged for decades, or atmosphere, since that isn't the point here. A number of signs make it appear that there's lots to choose from, but Cordon Bleu really only offers five dishes: imperial rolls, aka Vietnamese spring rolls; the oddly named shish kebab, thin-sliced, grilled, marinated rib-eye steak; country salad, a mix that includes chopped cabbage; savory meat sauce on rice; and the one you're here for, roast chicken rubbed with Asian five-spice powder (star anise, fennel, cinnamon, cloves, and Szechuan peppercorns) and reheated on the grill. A No. 5 combination plate includes all of the above, and its flavors and textures would not shame the kitchen at the Slanted Door.
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Michael Bacigalupi
Michael Bacigalupi

I have been patronizing this little place for longer than I would care to admit...I take great joy in taking people to Cordon Bleu for their first time. The food is unbelievable fragrant, perfectly spiced, completely reasonable and like nothing I have ever discovered since. May they keep their doors open forever!

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