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Kam Po: Pig Ear Soup with a Side of Duck

kam po

Kam Po

Last week’s article concerned Capital Restaurant’s roast duck, for which I had a lustful appreciation, a sentiment strong enough to effect an immediate return to Chinatown for this week’s post.  While tucking into said food at Capital’s low bar last week, a woman sitting next to me clued me into the existence of another place with their own purportedly great version of my greasy feathered friend, less than 50 paces away.  She couldn’t remember the name, but gave the intersection as Broadway and Powell, right next to the tunnel.  I still don’t know whether I went to the right place, but where I ended up didn’t disappoint.

Kam Po is for-real Chinatown; only after my brother and I sat down at our table did another white person even venture a timid peak into the drab confines of this no-bullshit restaurant.  A grim faced cook was posted up near the entrance, raising and lowering his giant butcher knife with hypnotic regularity, the sharp thwacks echoing off the stained white walls.

Our waiter smirked when we ordered the pig-ear soup, immediately suggesting something else, but we stuck to our guns, adding the roast duck and an eggplant dish to round things out.  The soup was flavorful, the ears themselves tasty but predictably insubstantial.  The duck was all it should be: sensually, orgasmically greasy with a gamey finish.  Our vegetarian afterthought was not great; I was initially against it, and my misgivings proved founded.  When eating out, I eschew the elementary school food pyramid and order exactly what I’m in the mood for.  This puritanical insistence upon the inclusion of vegetation is for the birds, although I’m not aware of any bird with a predilection for eggplant.


Kam Po
801 Broadway Street (@ Powell)

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Fatt Mink

Fatt Mink

Matt was born into a family of dreamy-eyed bookworms and staunch leftists in downtown San Jose, California. The sperm of the writing arts have long swam in his blood looking for the ovum of inspiration. However, his first love was music rather than literature; in 2002 he moved to San Francisco and studied Music and Italian, graduating in 2007. His move to S.F. coincided with the urgent need to pay his way; thus he joined the teeming ranks of the restaurant industry, where he still slaves away tending bar in the city's finer purveyors of food and grog, giving him a ground-level perspective which informs his writings about the Bay Area's ever-expanding culinary scene.