From the white tablecloths to the characters on the wall and the plain sign outside, Kim Thanh's trappings will be familiar to customers who frequent the Tenderloin neighborhood's numerous inexpensive Vietnamese and Chinese restaurants. The menu lists seafood as a specialty, offering standouts like steamed geoduck clams and salt-baked crab. Fried quail is also delicious. No order is completed without a mess of the pungent garlic noodles.
While the tanks full of strange, hideously ugly creatures that grace the front of Kim Thanh might scare away some, they draw in seafood-savvy diners with the promise of the unique and delicious. The geoduck clam may look freakish, with its comically tiny shell popping open around its fleshy body and long, wrinkled siphon that some compare to an elephant's trunk. But this bivalve's flavor and texture are to be prized, and no one makes a more appetizing case for geoduck than Kim Thanh. Whether... More »
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