Here’s some good news for fans of Charles Phan’s iconic Vietnamese restaurant, which has been sitting dark at the Ferry Building for the last two years: the chef is taking Slanted Door across the bridge to Berkeley, for a month-long pop-up on the UC Berkeley campus. Specifically, he’s taking over the former Rice & Bones space at Wurster Hall to bring Slanted Door to fans impatient for the restaurant’s San Francisco reopening (and unwilling or able to pop over to the San Ramon outpost).
In case you missed it, Phan quietly closed Rice & Bones on Friday, June 3 and reopened the restaurant with a new menu. By day the restaurant will continue to serve breakfast and lunch through the summer and the coming school year. The menu now features take-home pho kits, a handful of steam buns, and coffee. By night, he’s going to use the location to preview some of the new dishes he’s planning to introduce to the Slanted Door menu when the flagship location reopens at the Ferry Building in late fall 2022. The pop-up will offer a four-course prix-fixe menu for $48 per person. Diners can expect an appetizer of banh bot loc (shrimp rice dumplings) followed by two courses served family-style — first, wild gulf soft shell crab in pineapple anchovy sauce served with lettuce and herbs followed by wood roasted dry aged half-duck with grilled fava beans and rice — with a seasonal cherry clafoutis to end the meal. Because the middle courses will be family-style, it’s ideal to dine with at least a party of 2, Slanted Door Group spokesperson Anh Dong says.
And even though the pop-up will run from June 15 to July 1, because dinner service will only be available Wednesday to Friday nights, it’s still a pretty limited run. There will be some 9 nights of service to choose from and reservations will only be available from about 5:30-7:30 p.m. Those familiar with Slanted Door’s menu won’t be able to get their cellophane noodles with Dungeness crab, shaking beef, or crispy imperial roll fix at the pop-up, but Dong promises fan-favorite items will return when the Ferry Building makes its comeback.
In the meantime, reservations for the Slanted Door pop-up in Berkeley are available online via REX Reservations.