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“An inexpensive gem in a not-so-nice area.”
Review of Tu Lan

Tu Lan
Ranked #464 of 5,981 Restaurants in San Francisco
Price range: US$ 1 - US$ 20
Cuisines: Asian, Vietnamese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Child-friendly, Groups
Dining options: Lunch
Neighbourhood: SoMa
Reviewed 29 July 2017

We walked over from the Int'l arts museum (1025 Market), and of course lots of homeless on 6th ave. First thing we noticed, full of young people, so should be good. The portions are generous, the prices are low, and the most important thing - my friends approved my choice. The food was really good. Of course not at all a fancy place, not for foodies, but for a casual inexpensive meal served its purpose.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank ImaMY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (111)
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8 - 12 of 111 reviews

Reviewed 20 June 2017 via mobile

Food was really good, I would especially recommend the imperial rolls!! My partner and I also shared the beef with bamboo and mushrooms and the spicy beef noodle soup. Both were delicious with lots of crunchy vegetables, and portions were big enough that we couldn't finish it all!!

Thank Nicole M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 June 2017

Upon the recommendation of a SF native, we ate lunch here (mostly because it was across the street from Golden Gate Theater). What a treasure! The Imperial Rolls alone are worth the trip, even without a ticket to the theater. When we arrived at noon, there was one table left. This place is for the person who loves Anthony Bourdain type dives...AKA hidden gems!

    • Service
    • Food
Thank Judyalean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 April 2017 via mobile

This place isn't fancy and you have to walk through the Tenderloin district (through a sea of pee and weed) but boy is it great and cheap!

The lemon beef salad was incredibly fresh. The pho was fantastic with layers of flavor, the number 27 with beef, pork and Tofu was savory and rich.

Thank Danainfranklin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 December 2016 via mobile

I live about two blocks from this place located on this filthy 6th street SOMA slum, hitting Tulan's whenever my friend, a HUGE fan of this place, is in town. From the outside, and inside, this nondescript restaurant exudes your average old, greasy, low-quality skid-row economical eatery energy.

Looks can be deceiving.

I walk past this place on my way home sometimes and I often see its cooks smoking cigarettes in front amongst the omnipresent blight, meth addicts walking to and fro in their hyperactivity. At the entrance you see a yellowed ancient review of the place posted by the long-deceased Julia Child. You enter, walking along a narrow stretch with stooled bar on your left separating you from the exposed kitchen, squeezed between that and the seating against the wall to the right, stained white apron cooks speedily hacking-away at the various entrees, throwing noodles and rice on the steaming grill, pouring oil on top with ladle from grease bucket. Towards the back is a small open table seating area, flies buzzing about, fish sauce molecules permeating the air forming covalent bonds with your clothes. We sat at the bar - something I recommend for those that want the full Tulan's experience.
The menu, extensive - a thick, Cheesecake factory-esque book containing dishes that are not necessarily just Vietnamese, with a Vegetarian section that suits the vegan in me JUST FINE with things like tofu rolls, mixed veggie rice dishes and vege noodle soup and vege fried rice to name a few. I ordered the bean cake & bamboo shoot with mushroom entrée, whipped-up lickidy split right there in front of me. My friend ordered a litany of carnivorous dishes, indulging in BBQ pork rolls, beef cube dishes and the like. I am sure the fact that we blazed beforehand catalyzed our experience but, as both of us were devouring our food, our eyes were rolling to the back of our skull in decadence.
This place is an eastern epicurean ecstatic eating experience on the cheap. Don't fool yourself in believing that it's good for you tho; chances are that you may feel bloated soon after and, if you pig-out, you may find yourself the next morning with a puffy face because of all the oils, MSG or god-know-what they use. I mentioned this negative externality to my friend and he agreed:

"It's worth doing once a year."

I agreed. Looking forward to the next time he is in-town.

Thank Khash C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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