Monday, July 29, 2013

Eat in San Francisco: Mau

Spring rolls with poached pork and shrimp, vermicelli, mint, and peanut dipping sauce

Eel and Banana Blossom salad

Hủ Tiếu with xa-xiu pork, chicken, shrimp, ground pork, and garlic chicken broth

A few days ago, I had the pleasure of trying Mau for the second time. Located on Valencia near 18th Street in the heart of the Mission, Mau serves solid Vietnamese food in an even cooler atmosphere. Patrons have the option of enjoying their meals at standard-height tables, high tables, or counters. We opted to sit at the counter along the storefront window, both because of the excellent view of the street and the hooks underneath that kept our backpacks from getting dirty.

On my most recent visit, I tried a few different dishes: the spring rolls, the Eel and Banana Blossom salad, and the Hủ Tiếu noodle soup. The spring rolls were everything you want in the Vietnamese staple. Every ingredient was fresh and the flavors were harmoniously united by the peanut sauce. I'd definitely recommend trying the Eel and Banana Blossom salad as well. Although I only tried a couple of bites, it had a dynamic taste while still feeling pretty light. (Read: You'll crave more.)

For the main event, I had the Hủ Tiếu. While I've tried a few types of phở in the past and have a special place in my heart for Bún Bò Huế, whether traditional or vegetarian, I've never had Hủ Tiếu before. Like the other dishes, it was quite a delight. It had a seafood essence that complemented the flavors of the various types of meat and the garlicky broth rather nicely. With a friend knowledgeable of Vietnamese cuisine at my table, I can confirm that Mau's version is authentic.

If you're looking for a warm bowl of soup in the Mission, I'd suggest stopping by Mau for a little piece of Vietnamese heaven. As one Yelper exclaimed, "Oh. Mau. Goodness."

Website | Facebook | TwitterYelp
665 Valencia St., San Francisco, CA 94110
Open: Monday - Saturday for lunch 12 - 3, dinner 5:30 - 10

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