The Scoop SF: Rice Paper Scissors
Pop-up restaurants are all over San Francisco. A pop-up is a temporary restaurant which borrows space (and often a kitchen) from an established business. Located anywhere from diners to bars, you can find a new type of food in locations you might not expect. A pop-up that stands out from the rest is Rice Paper Scissors which serves Vietnamese food on Thursday nights out of Mojo Bicycle Cafe on Divisadero. Mojo Cafe itself is an interesting space, given that it’s half cafe half bike repair shop. By the time Rice Paper Scissors sets up, the bike repair shop has closed, but you can still peak at it behind the partition if you’re curious about the set up. Rice Paper Scissor has a wonderful menu, which is usually quite small. All of the dishes are well-prepared and tasty. They have recently started serving lunch at Brick & Mortar Music Hall on Mission at Duboce, but so far I’ve only had their food at the Mojo pop-up. Their beef pho is excellent, with flavorful broth, thin slices of beef, elegant rice noodles, slices of onion, with lime and jalepeno slices to garnish. It is a generous portion priced at $13. They also serve pho cuan chay rolls, which are rolls with mushrooms, tofu and thai basil, wrapped in thick pho noodles, sliced into 1.5 inch pieces and served with a dipping sauce called nuoc cham chay, which has a combined sweet and savory flavor. These rolls are $8, and are more of an appetizer. Also on the menu are three banh mi sandwiches for $9 each, one with pork, and two with vegan “smoked duck”— the vegetarian option served with mayonnaise and vegan option with vegannaise. Sometimes there is a wait for dishes, but it is definitely worth it as they make each order fresh. You can sit and eat inside the cafe, where there are stools and tables available. Usually they play music from the speakers and it’s a casual and lively environment. There is a small parklet in front on Divisadero, if you would like to sit outside. They also serve beer from the taps at Mojo and have a selection of cookies for dessert.