The first time I visited Golden Flower, it was on the recommendation of a colleague who told me it’s the best Vietnamese food in San Francisco’s Chinatown. I dropped by the busy restaurant for a quick lunch of pho, and in the short time I was there, the owners’ cheerful attitude made such an impression on me that I soon returned again. And again.
Golden Flower is a welcome change of pace if you’re the neighborhood and craving something other than Chinese food. It’s is a casual hole-in-the-wall restaurant with solid Vietnamese fare, and their steady crowd of patrons is testament to the quality of their dishes.
During one of my last visits, I ordered the grilled beef and rice noodles. The dish comes with piping hot fried spring rolls, which I gleefully dipped into my nuoc nam dipping sauce. My favorite thing about this dish is that like pho, it’s easy to customize it to one’s own taste. Another splash of nuoc nam here, a drop of sriracha there, and I was happily sated.
Golden Flower has become one of my go-to lunchtime restaurants, not only for the food, but because I look forward to the cheerful employees too. Oh, and word to the wise: you can get pho to go as well. They’ll pack your broth and fillings separately so that nothing gets soggy.