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.
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