I came here for lunch on Memorial Day after coming back to San Francisco from a long pig-out weekend in Pismo Beach and Santa Cruz. I originally wanted to get shabu shabu at Shabu House (the best shabu I’ve had anywhere!), but came across the unfortunate sign on their window stating that they aren’t open for business during lunch on weekdays. Bummer! I then did what any person would naturally do in this situation….seek Yelp for suggestions nearby. That’s when I stumbled across PPR Dungeness Island a few blocks away–4 stars and 1,379 reviews!
The restaurant only had a couple of tables occupied when I entered which didn’t seem too promising since it was peak lunch time on a holiday. We took a leap of faith anyways putting our trust in Yelp.
First off, it was my fault for choosing another crab-specializing restaurant following the stupendous chow-down at Cracked Crab in Pismo Beach the day before (review and pictures from Cracked Crab here). Frankly, I was already all-crabbed out from that single Alaskan king crab claw, so I was just looking for the noodle-rice-greasy fried appetizer-type of Vietnamese food. I admit I wasn’t thinking properly for choosing PPR out of the many Vietnamese restaurants in the surrounding area if I wanted run of the mill Vietnamese food. Long story short, we didn’t try their specialty dungeness crab dish even after realizing every other table had a huge crab in front of them. So, this review is for the food that most people don’t bother ordering when coming here…
The Imperial Rolls were one of the worst I’ve ever eaten. The skin, which is supposed to flaky and crispy, was tough and rubbery giving me the impression that it was probably reheated in the microwave. Not good…. As for the nuoc mum (fish sauce-based dip), it was so extremely bland and watered down I was practically drinking the stuff just to get any flavor at all.
The boyfriend ordered his usual Charbroiled Pork Chop Rice Plate which came with a side of raw veggies. The pork chop had good flavor and was tender, a much appreciated improvement from the appetizer we ordered but the nuoc mum was still very very watered down.
I ordered House Garlic Noodles and Peppercorn Prawns per suggestion by reading through a few Yelp reviews. The garlic noodles have A LOT of garlic, so the dish was true to its name and I enjoyed it. It was too oily, though. I had to wipe my mouth after every bite to prevent oil from dripping down my lips. The prawns were a fairly large size and also quite flavorful. I wished there was more peppery-ness to it since there seemed to be more garlic than peppercorns in the flavor profile of the dish.
All in all, the meal was decently enjoyable. If I were to write a review on Yelp, I would’ve given the place 2 stars due to the poor tasting imperial rolls and nuoc mum as well as very very bad service–our water was never refilled, we had to ask several times for a fork since one of the settings didn’t have one, and we had to try flagging someone down to get the check for 10 minutes before anyone noticed us.
I would probably try this restaurant again for the namesake crab just for the heck of it one day, but most likely not anytime soon.
PPQ Dungeness Island (link to Yelp since their website is currently down)
2332 Clement St., San Francisco, 94121