Last week I had the honor of photographing (and eating with!) San Francisco’s first Vietnamese Pop-Up Cafe, Rice Paper Scissors. Vietnam is one of The E.A.T. Team’s first stops next year, so chowing down with these lovely ladies really got me excited for what my mouth is going to experience in just a few short months. Seeing this team in action really filled my heart (and belly) with awesome sauce for a bunch of reasons. Some of them being:
- Pursuit of passion. Cofounders Valerie Luu & Katie Kwan just love Vietnamese street food and wanted to share it with the world. They blasted through the fear of “will this work?” when thinking about starting their food biz and set out to make it happen. In addition to “popping-up” in various locations throughout San Francisco for public feasts such as these, the girls have a weekly gig at Mojo Bicycle Cafe.
- Ridiculous tasty. It’s handmade, fresh, and prepared right before your very eyes. I got to sample the Rice Porridge (see photo) with juicy chicken and ginger and vegan “duck” Bahn Mi, a popular sandwich on a crusty french baguette with Pate, vegetables like carrots & daikon.
- Down to earth. Literally. One of the defining aspects of Rice Paper Scissors is their small tables and even smaller “little red stools”. It’s about being close to your food and to the friends you share it with. It was hosted in the front yard of a beautiful old house right on Valencia Street in a popular district of San Francisco, so passersby couldn’t help but notice the scent and the sight.
- Down to earth, figuratively. I loved to see people walking by stop after smelling the eggs frying and the people chowing down, asking “Do you do this every week?!” It was a flurry of friends, strangers, old, young, new, repeat, and everything in between laughing and eating and drinking. Simple, unadulterated goodness.