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)
[Chinatown]
SF

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About the author

Matt Fink - Fatt Mink

I grew up in San Jose, only 50 minutes away from S.F. My dad, brother and I came up often to visit family and/or to fart around, and whenever the car came over the rise on Hwy. 101 just after Candlestick Park, I could hear an almost audible "Click" in my brain. The blinding, beautifully rolling blanket of diverse urbanity spread out before our speeding automobile, coupled with draughts of the clean, cool air conspired to instill in me a growing discontent with San Jose. Add access to hitherto unknown strata of music, booze and food culture, not to mention pet-deification and testicular-separators, and I couldn't be kept away for long. Even after ten years of residency, the sight of a glistening pair of moose-knuckles swinging down Market St. still makes my heart swell with pride.

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