Lunch Spots in San Francisco - January 2014 Edition

January was a wonderful month of new food discoveries. I found some fantastic eateries that quickly turned into favorites, as well as encountered some places that I will never return to again.  Here's a quick list of the new food and/or places that I've encountered, followed by reviews and photos: 

  • Namu Gaji Street Food @ FERRY BUILDING, SF
  • Wise Sons Delicatessen @ FERRY BUILDING, SF
  • Hog Island Oyster Company @ FERRY BUILDING, SF
  • Gott's Roadside @ FERRY BUILDING, SF
  • Hapa Ramen @ FERRY BUILDING, SF
  • Saigon Deli Express @ EMBARCADERO, SF
  • Onigilly @ EMBARCADERO, SF
  • Prather Ranch American Eatery @ FERRY BUILDING, SF
  • Soup Junkie @ FiDi, SF
  • The Plant @ EMBARCADERO, SF
  • Tava Indian Kitchen @ FiDi, SF
Namu Gaji Street Food Stall - "kfc style" chicken sando

Namu Gaji Street Food @ FERRY BUILDING, SF

The best lunch I had in January is from the Namu Gaji Street Food Stall. My friend and I ordered the "kfc style” chicken sando, which is a nicely fried, crispy, and juicy chicken thigh covered in a sweet, tangy, and spicy sauce with a really powerful nice kick!  It was served on a nice brioche bun over a spicy slaw and picked daikons. There was also a side of gravy which was nice on occasion to get a better balance of flavor but the sandwich really doesn't need the gravy. It is messy but definitely worth staining your fingers. 

The most amazing pastrami reuben sandwich at Wise Sons 

Wise Sons Delicatessen @ FERRY BUILDING, SF

This place will make you want to lick your fingers dry after eating a pastrami reuben sandwich. MY GOD. The meat portions are generous, the bread is nicely toasted, & the cheese brings them together. The pickles were nice and went well with the sandwich. I could eat that for days. Wise Sons is also a new favorite of mine. 

Hog Island Oyster Company @ FERRY BUILDING, SF

I was lucky to make it over here before they closed down for the season. The clam chowder was one of the best I've had. It has a wonderful rich broth with melted leeks, pieces of bacon with nice fatty bits, yukon potatoes, and the most flavorful manila clams. It's a definite favorite - I'll be back for sure! Plus, I always do love their oysters.

Gott's Roadside @ FERRY BUILDING, SF

I have been wanting to try their burgers but resisted and was tempted by their special instead, which was a Monterey crab sandwich. I ordered that along with a side of onion rings. The sandwich was tasty, loved how it was served on Acme's torpedo roll (my fave!). I loved the taste of the crab and the light seasoning - I just wish for the price paid that there was a bit more crab. I look forward to going back here. 

Hapa Ramen Big Daddy Bowl

Hapa Ramen Big Daddy Bowl

Hapa Ramen Big Daddy Bowl with Yolk

Hapa Ramen Big Daddy Bowl with Yolk


Patrick met me up for lunch one day to cure our ramen craving. We've had Hapa Ramen once at a pop-up but wanted to try it again. We both ordered the Hapa Ramen Big Daddy Bowl. I wasn't a huge fan the first time and I felt the same way the second time around. It was good and delicious. The egg was nice and the chicken tasted good. The pork had a nice cut but too much of a almost game-like pork flavor to me. The broth itself was rich and flavorful but somewhat reminded me too much of a packed instant ramen taste, probably due to the pickles or root vegetables they used in the broth. This place gets a 6 out of 10 for me. 

Saigon Deli Express @ EMBARCADERO, SF

Bad Green Waffles

I smelled green pandan waffles in the air and chased it down to find this little deli making it. I ordered one and was incredibly disappointed to find that it was the floppiest and gummiest green waffle I've ever had.  This place should be put to shame for the way their waffles are poorly made. Flavor could've worked if it wasn't so gum-like. It's so important to have great texture on a green waffle to really appreciate it. It should be crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. WHAT IN THE HELL?

Onigilly SF


It's tasty, quick, and a good value. I ordered the onigilly set with three choices and sides of edamame and pickles. They are nicely sized and have a good filling to rice ratio. I ordered the spicy bacon, snow crab, and spicy shrimp. I enjoyed all of them but my least favorite was the spicy shrimp as it was too saucy, masking all the delicious shrimp flavor. They are generous with their edamame.

Prather Ranch all beef burger with American cheese

Prather Ranch American Eatery @ FERRY BUILDING, SF

I ordered the Prather Ranch all beef burger with American cheese, which consists of a 6 oz dry aged beef, house sauce, cooked medium on an Acme sesame roll. It was very delicious; I really enjoyed the sauce on the burger and the meat was nicely seasoned and juicy. I would go back if I'm craving for a well-made burger.

Shrimp Taco at Mijita

Shrimp Taco at Mijita

Soup Junkie

Soup Junkie


[Top Left Photo] I ordered the tacos de pescados, a rock cod taco, and the tacos de camarones, a grilled shrimp taco. I enjoyed both but like the shrimp tacos the best. The rock cod batter was great in texture but the fish overall lacked salt; regardless, it was still tasty.

Soup Junkie @ FiDi, SF

[Top Right Photo] I had the crab and tomato noodle soup (bún riêu) for$9.50, which consists of a crab omelette, curled cabbage, housemade pork meatballs, tomatoes, fresh herbs, and rice noodles. Overall, it helped cure my craving. Nice flavor all around and a good amount of toppings. I thought it could've used some richness & more flavor in the broth. I grew up eating great homemade bún riêu and Soup Junkie just didn't cut it for me. It needed some more shrimp paste!

The Plant's Beet Burger

The Plant's Beet Burger

Tava Kitchen Assembly

Tava Kitchen Assembly


[Top Left Photo] I ordered the PLANT burger; the patty is made from lentils, mushrooms, beets, cashews & bulgur wheat. It tasted very healthy but in a tasty way. It is heavier on the beets more than any other ingredient. It almost tasted like it could be slightly raw. I wouldn't order it again as once was enough for me but glad I tried it and I did enjoy it.

Tava Indian Kitchen @ FiDi, SF

[Top Right Photo] This is like an Indian-style Chipotle. You can do a burrito or a normal bowl with rice and choose from a selection of beef, lamb, or veggie. Then they add on the different topics. I ordered the veggie burrito with paneer. The paneer was very soft and crumbled. The mango lassi had a good thickness but lacked fruitiness. The food overall was bland and tasted very "healthy" as our group of three puts it. This place gets a 4 out of 10 for me. 

Did you miss the lunch recap for December 2013?  Catch up here: Lunch Spots in San Francisco - December 2013 Edition

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