People always ask me, “So how did you hear about this place?” every time I suggest a new restaurant. It’s a combination of different things including word of mouth, Yelp, and the numerous food- and restaurant-themed newsletters that I get emailed to me. Strangely, for the life me, I can’t recall how I found out about SO which is a somewhat unfortunate, as I now don’t know where to attribute having found such a hidden gem for SOMA. After scanning some reviews on Yelp, I figured out that it used to be located in Inner Sunset somewhere near San Tung, but I’m thinking maybe the competition was too tough and given the similarity in their menus, SO decided to pick up and move. In my opinion, Inner Sunset’s loss is SOMA’s gain, because we were in definite need of a cheap and simple eatery that serves some solid food.
The Sweet Corn Sticks were interesting, upon first bite. They had wrapped corn kernels in wonton or egg roll wrappers and deep-fried them. The dipping sauce that came with the dish was some wasabi aioli, and it tasted pretty blah. Unfortunately, without a proper sauce, the corn sticks were kind of missing some taste and kind of fell a little flat.
Ma Pao Tofu was pretty spicy in a way that it kind of made your tongue burn but still seemed to lack real flavor. It was rather unfortunate, and I doubt I will be ordering this dish again.
The real test of the night came with the Chicken Wings which ended up being pretty comparable to San Tung in my opinion. The presentation, the seasoning and the sauce were all very similar. The wings itself might have been a little smaller. However, the Original Dry-Fried Chicken Wings from San Tung might have the ever so slightest edge over these Chicken Wings, but I won’t be picky. Given the price, proximity and taste of these wings, I wouldn’t mind coming here rather than face the long wait after driving clear across the city. These wings get a thumbs up in my book.
Another copycat dish was the Black Bean Sauce Noodles, and San Tung completely beat SO on this dish. Unfortunately, the noodles were a little bit bland. There wasn’t enough salt or black bean sauce or something. Either way, it was lacking in flavor so much so that Pdho and TUmmy resorted to mixing the spicy sauce from the Ma Pao Tofu into the noodles to help give the taste a bit of a kick. I even spied some people next to us who ordered the same dish and ended up asking for some Siracha as well.
Although I think San Tung still is the better restaurant overall, SO is decent enough. Granted, my opinion is based largely on the chicken wings as the other dishes this time around were pretty average. However, the menu looked interesting enough and the 300+ Yelpers who gave it 4 stars couldn’t be completely wrong, so I will likely be returning to try and find some other go to dishes to satisfy my Chinese-Korean food craving. You also can’t beat the relatively inexpensive pricing especially given there are some slim pickings in SOMA when it comes to cheap eats. Until next time…..
1010 Bryant St.
San Francisco, CA 94107
PAFO Ratings for So Restaurant:
Price 1½ stars
Ambiance 3 stars
Food 3 stars
Overall rating 3 stars