Forgive this post for being a little schizoid. But when I visited the former Betelnut restaurant in San Francisco last month, it had recently revamped its interior and menu and had renamed itself Hutong restaurant. But after a lackluster review from the San Francisco Chronicle, Hutong abruptly became Betelnut again.
Fortunately, many of the more adventurous dishes that emerged from the Hutong menu remain available, now alongside classic Betelnut fare such as “Cecilia’s Minced Chicken Lettuce Wraps” ($12.50), named for Chinese culinary doyenne Cecilia Chiang, who was the original consulting chef for Betelnut.
Even better, long-time Chef Alex Ong remains at the helm, creating fiesty, pungent dishes reminiscent of Asian street food found in crowded alleys, otherwise known as “hutongs” in places like Beijing.