A favorite hole in the wall Vietnamese restaurant in San Francisco is shut down by the health department.
Tu Lan is on gritty 6th Street near Market. The rough neighborhood doesn't scare regulars away from it's famously delicious heaping servings at bargain basement prices.
Open since 1977 columnist Herb Caen wrote about Julia Child eating at the dive. The owner told Caen he didn't know who Child was but was happy she enjoyed her meal.
On Tuesday we didn't see anyone famous looking in the windows past the health departments warning sign. We did see a lot of loyal regulars who are stunned by the closure.
Shante Robinson says he works nearby and often waits in line for lunch. He says the line is "out the door out the door the food is excellent".
The health department says it has issued citations at Tu Lan before. This time the agency suspended its permit due to an immanent health hazard. Temperature controls, rodents and cleanliness are on the list of concerns.
The owners say they will make improvements and re-open. Customers don't seem concerned about the code violations they seem concerned about shrimp and rice.
It's now up to the health department to decide if Tu Lan will sizzle again or lose its operating permit for good.