The modern-looking pho restaurant is like an oasis at noontime Saturday on a quiet stretch of Divisadero. My Father’s Kitchen probably serves up a lot of health care workers on the weekdays, surrounded by a few hospitals north of Geary Boulevard, and on Saturdays it’s one of the few lunch options.
I discovered the little shop walking briskly along Divisadero, and the 3-year-old restaurant seems quite popular. With a friendly service staff, the restaurant is family owned and yes, the owner’s dad Henry Nguyen is in the kitchen cooking up food from his native Haiphong in North Vietnam.
The menu is shorter than what you’d find in other pho spots in other neighborhoods, and the prices are slightly higher. It’s a contemporary spot that can deliver some great basics like fresh spring rolls (goi cuon, $6.50) and beef pho ($7.50, small bowl), but other items take some getting used to.
For example, I didn’t expect the bun vermicelli bowl to be served with the noodles separated from the bowl and the pork and meatballs arriving almost in a bowl of soup. This is a dish I typically eat with the ingredients on top of the noodles with fresh herbs underneath. This presentation is a bit harder to eat, despite the flavor in the meat.
The Last Bite
Although you can get bigger portions at more rustic pho spots, My Father’s Kitchen is a sweet restaurant in a relatively quiet stretch of Divisadero. The pho is authentic but the other dishes might be more generic, lacking much sophistication. But maybe that’s the charm of this home-cooking inspired place.
My Father’s Kitchen, 1655 Divisadero St., San Francisco. PH: 415.829.2610. Open Monday to Saturday for lunch and dinner. No reservations, major credit cards accepted. myfatherskitchensf.com
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