My Canh and the Problem of Sloppy Noodles

Rice Plate Journal

is a yearlong project to canvas Chinatown, block by block, discovering

the good, the bad, and the hopelessly mediocre. Maximum entrée price:

$10.

A pattern with SFoodie's visits to Chinatown restaurants seems to be emerging: Go once, order the wrong thing, and return for something better. Taking a break from Broadway's cluster of Hong Kong restaurants — don't worry, there will be more next week — we went to My Canh, whose pho SF Weekly praised a few years ago.

Yelpers are devoted to the restaurant's crab noodle soup, especially after they've gone on North Beach benders. Seeing as how most of the people in the restaurant — a grimly painted place, with a magenta floor and green marble tabletops — were fishing noodles out of a soup the color of a stop sign instead, SFoodie figured the restaurant's specialty might be bun bo hue (spicy beef noodle soup). That was a mistake: We got wan pho broth garnished with a little chile oil, served with Thai basil instead of shredded greens, lime, and rau ram. And where was the pig's ear? We pointed to one of the other customers and asked the waiter what it was. “Beef stew,” he replied.

Ah.

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