Kim Son Vietnamese Restaurant

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Kim Son must have sprouted up this year or recently because I'm pretty sure I would have honed in on a restaurant in this area that served decent bun bo hue.  It a good sign that this place was continuously packed as I ate here.
I have been searching for a decent bowl of bun bo hue in the city to satisfy my cravings without having to drive across the bridge to Oakland.  While its not the best bun bo hue I've had, it'll do as a satisfying placeholder for now.  The broth is more on the spicy side and doesn't have much of the slightly sour notes that I'm used to tasting in other bun bo hues.  Also, they don't put the blood cubes in the soup here, which could be a good or bad thing depending on if you like them.  There's a lot of meat in the soup as well as fish cake slices, which I liked, but the pork and beef slices were too gristly and fatty for me. 
Cabbage, mint leaves, bean sprouts, lime wedges, and slices of jalapenos are given as additives for your soup.  I don't add much to mine, usually just some cabbage to my bun bo hue.
I'm starting to see bun rieu pop up on a lot of menus.  It's nice to see other alternatives to pho in Vietnamese noodle houses.  Bun rieu is a tomato based soup with vermicelli noodles, crab meat, and fried garlic.  I find it to be more of a hearty soup because of the plentiful crab meat and tomato broth.  One great thing about this restaurant is the soups come out insanely hot so even halfway through the bowl the broth is still steaming.  The bun rieu here is pretty good.  Every slurping spoonful has a generous portion of crab meat. 
Com tam (broken rice) is another one Vietnamese dish that I've been on a endless search to find so I don't have to travel outside the city for my fix.  For some reason it seems to be one of the harder dishes to locate in the city, possibly since most of the Vietnamese restaurants here are run by Chinese people.  #25 - the com tam suon bi cha (bbq pork chop, shredded pork & baked egg over broken rice) allowed me to get a little taste of everything.  The first glance of the rice made me already hesitate that it wouldn't be very good.  The rice didn't have a glistening sheen.  Also, the portion size was small.  I'm used to the rice plates with heaps of meat and a lot of rice.  Looks aside, the rice was dry even after adding the nuoc mam to it.  Actually, everything was a bit dry and tasteless.  I guess I still have to drive to San Jose for some good com tam (see post HERE).  I will continue my search for com tam in the city and stick to the soups here. 

Address:                 Kim Son Vietnamese Restaurant
                                3614 Balboa St.
                                San Francisco, CA
Type:                       Vietnamese

Popular chomps:     bun rieu
                                 bun bo hue
                                 beef pho
                                 com tam (broken rice)

Chomp worthy:        bun rieu
                                 bun bo hue        

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