We visit a long-running, Julia Child-approved Vietnamese spot in San Francisco

The Hi-Lo Food Show features acclaimed chef Erik Anderson (a Food & Wine Best New Chef, founding chef of Nashville’s The Catbird Seat, and chef-owner of the forthcoming Brut in Minneapolis) along with me, the editor-in-chief of this website and a semi-professional eater. Here’s the simple concept: We visit a city and eat at two restaurants, one very expensive and one very cheap, but each highly recommended by professionals and our local friends. We’ll speak to the high-end chefs about their cuisine and vision, and we’ll talk to each other about the food. (That’ll be mostly me asking Erik questions.) For this first series, we visited three cities: Chicago gave us high-end wonderland El Ideas and Polish sausage emporium Jim’s Original, while Charleston delighted our taste buds with McCrady’s and Nana’s. This week, it’s San Francisco, that beautiful, contradictory city. For yesterday’s high-end meal, we were surprised and delighted by Atelier Crenn. Today, it’s the fantastic (and fantastically reasonable) Tu Lan, located in the heart of San Francisco, near 6th and Market streets. Tu Lan has been a local staple since 1977, serving authentic but approachable Vietnamese dishes like pho and imperial rolls; it was apparently a favorite of Julia Child, a drawing of whom appears on the menu. And only a few of these hearty dishes even crosses the $10 threshold.


They have blue collar workers in San Francisco?

I'd say out of every episode, this one had the best-looking food so far. I've never had Vietnamese food, but this really made me want to try it.