The symbiotic relationship that exist between a restaurant and the bar next to it don’t get much better or more mutually beneficial than the one that exists between Cordon Bleu and Encore on California Street, just off Polk. One serves cheap, delicious and hearty food, the other is a karaoke bar that allows you to bring in and consume said food on their premises. I’ve rarely encountered a more elegant and harmonious confluence of purpose.
Cordon Bleu is a counter-only Vietnamese restaurant with simple food cooked in plain sight by a skeleton crew of Southeast Asian expats. The dish to get is Vietnamese Five Spice Chicken or the grilled pork chops. Eat there if you like or pack it up and take it next door and up a flight of stairs to Encore Karaoke, where no one’s likely to cast aspersions upon you if you can’t carry a tune more complicated than the beautiful music made by the death rattle of an ancient, bigoted and toothless Southern Democratic Senator. From three to seven, well drinks are $3.50 and domestic beers $2.50. You’re eating like a Siamese king for less than 15 bucks and drinking like a hump-less camel for a pittance. Need I pontificate further? Fin.
1574 California St.
1550 California St.