The renowned Vietnamese restaurant Tu Lan has closed last week after allegations of serious and repeated health violations from the Department of Public Health.
The restaurant, which was once visited by French-cuisine icon Julia Child, was shut down because of live rodents, roaches, standing water in the kitchen, improper refrigeration and unsanitary food-handling practices, according to inspection findings by the health department.
Tu Lan was known for its enthusiastic customer base despite its location on Sixth Street between Market and Mission streets, one of The City’s most dangerous and unsavory blocks.
“Tu Lan is the very definition of a hole in a wall,” one San Mateo native wrote on Yelp in early July. “The neighborhood is not a place I would take little kids to. … However, the food is great, the portions are HUGE, the prices are very reasonable, and they cook it right in front of you.”
Despite good reviews and a window full of Best of the Bay awards from the San Francisco Bay Guardian, the eatery remained closed Tuesday with a sign from the heath department plastered on the front door.
The fate of Tu Lan will be determined next Wednesday, when owner Anthony Nguyen will go before the health director and appeal to the Department of Public Health for one last chance to bring his restaurant into compliance with department guidelines.
A restaurant spokesman could not be reached for comment. The eatery’s answering machine urged would-be diners to call back Aug. 20 for updates.