I had avoided Empty Bowl because it's always slammed and having lived and dined in SB for so many years, I'm wary of hype.
My friend who was an Empty Bowl enthusiast and I ordered food to go on Friday night. It was underwhelming. The Pad Thai (which many have raved about to me) was inconsistent in that one bite tasted like sugar noodles with some peanut flavoring and another bite had a spice so pungent it seemed to burn my tongue.
The Papaya Salad was fine, nothing to write home about, but not as varied in its veggies as I am used to. 99% papaya with a piece of (tomato?) an minor sprinkling of peanuts.
In all fairness, this was close to average. However, the hype, wait even after ordering, stressed staff (c'mon, it's a Friday, you're a popular restaurant, prepare!) brought down the average score.
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