Thursday, April 26, 2012

Bun Tam Bi from 3 Bottled Fish Vietnamese Street Food Pop-up

The emergence (so to speak) of another pop-up specializing in Vietnamese Street food is cause for rejoicing.  In the past Rice Paper Scissors' Bap Xao and Soup Junkie's Bun Rieu have been memorable experiences for me. The latest entrant to this genre is the collective effort of three cousins known as 3 Bottled Fish, which I caught up with today at The Window, a pop-up venue hosted by Coffee Bar. The derivation of the name is a convoluted affair, which you can read about in SF Weekly's review of the group's maiden appearance last week, but it works for me. The menu at today's appearance appeared to be the same as last week's, and since I tend to go for the least familiar in general and am on a mission to check out anything noodle-y in particular, I went for the Bun Tam Bi. Bun tam bi, it turns out, is a cold rice noodle salad, garnished with julienned pork and pork rind, coconut milk and fresh mint among other things, served with a chili sauce to drench it with.  It also came with a side of pork meatballs.  Together, the $8 dish made for a substantial lunch, and overall it was a very refreshing blend of textures and tastes which I will gladly order again.

The Window is just that, a takeout window built into the side of  Coffee Bar, a commissary and soon-to-be cafe with an extensive roster of pop-ups to schedule from.  It has, however, some sidewalk barstool-high tables for early birds and latecomers to sit at in its sunny 12th and Howard location.

Where slurped: The Window, 1599 Howard at 12th Street, San Francisco

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