San Francisco: Thanh Long

I'd been curious about Vietnamese style crabs for a while. AF, TT, and I finally made our way to Thanh Long to see what all the fuss was about:

Our first impression of the restaurant could be summed up in one word: fancy.  There's valet service outside, the bar was pretty snazzy, and all the waitstaff were dressed up.

We started with Thanh Long mussels as an appetizer:

The mussels were broiled with Asian pesto and rested on crostini.  It's kinda awkward to eat crostini with the mussels still in the shell.  Okay, so maybe I'm super lazy, but the extra step seems rather unnecessary to me.  The Asian pesto could have been very good, except that it was way too salty.

There are two dishes that Thanh Long is known for.  One is the garlic noodles:

I guess the noodles were good, but they were also very underwhelming.  There's nothing in the noodles besides the "special" garlic sauce.  Not. Impressed.  It tasted like something you could make at home out of an instant noodle bag.

The other dish that Thanh Long is known for is its crab.  There are 3 types: drunken, roasted, and tamarind.  Our server recommended the roasted crab, so that's what we got:

Like the noodles, the crab was pretty meh.  It was good, but nowhere near mind-blowing.  The crab was on the small side too.

Before we'd even finished eating, AF and TT were on their phones looking up potential second dinners.  We joked about getting burgers afterwards...expect we weren't really kidding.

Don't see what all the fuss is about.  Sorry, Thanh Long.  We left feeling completely dissatisfied and also kinda...angry.  Like we'd been lied to and cheated out of a good meal.

Thanh Long
4101 Judah St
San Francisco, CA 94122
(415) 665-1146


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