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On a bustling alley corner in the Tenderloin, Turtle Tower is easily missed- unless you happen to know its chef and owner Steven Ngihia, who appears to know everybody walking past. The best way to describe Steven's take on pho is fresh. He buys produce from farmers' markets down the street, free-range chickens, insists the beef be hand sliced and buys noodles made fresh that day. The noodles in your bowl were probably made a mere three hours before you take the first bite.
Turtle Tower's specialty is its broths. Strictly northern-style, the soup comes with no side garnishes or bean sprouts, common accompaniments of Southern and Americanized pho. Steven developed his recipes from the food his mother cooked for him and his siblings, not the recipes his grandfather culled as a gourmet French cuisine chef in Hanoi.
- Excerpt from Turtle Tower, Fresh pho of every fancy by Julie Johnson