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13 Things to Know About the New Sam Wo

The beloved institution is officially re-open, with some changes.

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Erin S./Yelp

After a tumultuous close in 2012, the historic Sam Wo has risen from its own ashes. Officially open as of yesterday (which is the date the restaurant’s astrologer recommended), this new Sam Wo is cleaner, sleeker and full of the food you remember — and some you don’t. Here’s everything you need to know.

  1. The food is the same, but also different. Favorites like the barbecue pork rice noodle roll, tomato beef chow mein, chow fun noodles and hot mustard are back. Not everything is back, but a good chunk of it. In fact, the only new items are salt & pepper chicken wings and walnut prawns. The full menu is below.

  2. Brace: prices have gone up. But not much. A bowl of wonton soup used to be $4.75, and it will now be around $6.50. "We spent so much money on construction work based on what the Health Department needed, so prices are going to have to raise a little bit," Julie Ho, the manager and one of the owner’s daughters, told Eater. "For some of the locals, that can be a big jump, so we're a little bit nervous about that."

  3. You can caffeinate, which can come in handy post a massive Chinese feast. Specifically, there’s Hong Kong-style milk tea and coffee.

  4. You cannot drink — yet. They plan to apply for a beer and wine license soon.

  5. The restaurant can fit more people than the old location, but still not a ton. Official capacity is 49 for both levels.

  6. Though the restaurant is in the old Anna Bakery space, they are not doing sweets just yet. But stay tuned — there are plans for Chinese bakery-style pastries a few months down the road.

  7. You’ll recognize some of the furniture, namely the stools, marbletop tables, the old outdoor signage is now inside right by the door and a part of the second floor panel.

  8. Owners are David Ho, Steven Lee and Jonathan Leong. Ho is focused on the food, Lee is on the operations side and Leong is working on future business plans, including a potential branding opportunity to bring Sam Wo products into supermarkets.

  9. David Ho used to the main chef at Sam Wo, and while he won’t be cooking like he did before, he’s overseeing the kitchen and training all the new chefs.

  10. The staff is entirely new. New servers, new cooks. Unclear if there will be one server who rises to the top as the surly one (a la the infamous Edsel Ford Fung).

  11. This is definitely Sam Wo 2.0. Servers no longer write your order down on pieces of paper, instead inputting orders into a computer system, like a real, live restaurant in the year 2015.

  12. Sam Wo is not where it used to be. The new address is 713 Clay St., taking over the old Anna Bakery space.

  13. Hours differ every day, and are not hard and fast. Julie Ho said opening and closing times can vary up to an hour every day, but here is a good guide for once it’s fully up and running: Monday and Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Wednesday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 4 a.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 a.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Sam Wo menu

Photo credit: Martin D./Yelp

Sam Wo Restaurant

713 Clay Street, , CA 94108 (415) 989-8898 Visit Website