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One of San Francisco’s Only Cambodian Restaurants Will Permanently Close

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Also: Outdoor dining kicks off in Contra Costa County, and more news to start your day

The fish ahmok, a fish custard dish, at Angkor Borei
The fish ahmok at Angkor Borei
Angkor Borei/Instagram

After more than 30 years in Bernal Heights, Angkor Borei has called it quits

For many diners in San Francisco, Angkor Borei, a Bernal Heights staple since the mid ‘80s, offered their first taste of the banana leaf-wrapped fish mousse called ahmok (or amok) and the fragrant spice paste known as kroeung. Now, due to financial losses suffered during the coronavirus pandemic, the restaurant will close permanently, Hoodline reports. Its final day of business will be Monday, June 15.

Known for their warm and welcoming presence at the restaurant, owners Tom Prabpan and Chin Han Yat tell Hoodline that Angkor Borei has faced a steep drop in business since switching over to a takeout and delivery only model, and it was unable to secure a federal stimulus loan through Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). As they looked ahead to a future of reduced dine-in seating, keeping the business open just didn’t make sense.

Though the restaurant had been somewhat forgotten by Bay Area food media as newer and trendier Southeast Asian restaurants have opened, Angkor Borei has long been beloved by a loyal base of regular customers. In a 2006 review, SF Weekly praised the restaurant’s “cozy interior” and its use of then-hard-to-find ingredients such as prahok, the salty fermented fish paste. Longtime SF Examiner critic Patricia Unterman was a fan of the fiery green curry, served over Japanese eggplant.

In a note posted on the restaurant’s window, Prabpan and Yat wrote, “We wanted to let you all know how very grateful and blessed we have felt to serve you the past 30 plus years.” Longtime customers have one more week to pay their respects — via takeout or delivery, of course — before the restaurants shuts its doors for good.

And in other news...

  • Miliki, one of the only Nigerian restaurants in Oakland and a hub for the East Bay’s West African community, has also closed permanently. [SF Chronicle]
  • A reporter for the East Bay Times checked in with Contra Costa restaurants that opened for outdoor dining over the weekend. “Even with the limited seating I still had the most business I’ve had in months,” one Walnut Creek restaurant owner said. [EBT]
  • When its reopens next month, Michelin-starred Son & Daughters will give its workers a significant pay raise — and increase its prices to help cover the cost. [SFC]
  • Robin, the much-vaunted Hayes Valley sushi restaurant, has reopened with its first set of sushi box takeout offerings. [Instagram]
  • Napa Valley wineries are hoping tourists come back, as they aren’t really built to cater mainly just to local customers. [SFBT]
  • The seolleongtang at Daeho, in SF’s Japantown, is one of the local dishes to get a shout-out In this Oakland-based food writer’s lovely ode to Korean comfort foods. [Catapult]
  • Berkeleyside Nosh commissioned a short film about essential workers at West Oakland’s Community Foods Market grocery store. [Berkeleyside]

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