If you have lived in San Francisco for at least two years and have still not been to Yamo…you need to go immediately after reading this post.
Yamo has been an SF institution for like…ever. This place is the very definition of “hole-in-the-wall”. Tightly tucked between a cell phone store and the corner liquor, it’s an 8-seater eatery that dishes out the city’s best Burmese food that you can get for $6 a plate.
I’d heard of this Yamo place many times. Located on the corner of 19th and Mission St., I’d always hurriedly walked past, either on my way to my favorite vegan place, Gracias Madre, located on the opposite corner, or following some hipster foodies to some boujie trendy restaurant on Valencia. Out of all the good eats that SF has to offer, I never felt the urgency to try this hole-in-the-wall place which also didn’t have the best curb appeal.
Well…I know better now.
The Tenderloin has a bad rep, yes.
Historically, it’s always been bad here. This part of downtown San Francisco is called the “Tenderloin” because police officers used to get paid more to patrol this nasty area of the city, and were able to afford pricier cuts of meat, such as beef tenderloin.
This is where the homeless call home. It’s where rickety shopping carts packed with a lifetime of belongings crawl the streets squeaking past the makeshift flea markets that line the sidewalk floors. However, once you look past the neon-lit liquor stores located on every corner and the sleazy dive bars that stink of cigarette stained carpet, you’ll find yourself at the corner of Eddy and Larkin, where you will be greeted by the red and gold gateway to Little Saigon—home of the best pho in the city.
Since Thanksgiving, I’ve pretty much been traveling nonstop, only spending a few days here at home. And boy did I choose the right time to travel—smack dab in the middle of the worst storm to hit San Francisco in decades. I don’t usually eat out much on my own, but after a few delayed flights and nearly missing a job interview, I think I deserve a big bowl of steaming hot pho.
With dozens of pho places in Little Saigon alone, how is one supposed to choose? Well I’ve gone ahead and narrowed down the overwhelming selection to include my top 3 pho places. You can thank me later. Continue reading