A February visit to Clement Restaurant revealed many good signs,
starting with — a new sign!
All too often we hear about old San Francisco favorites closing, like Ambassador Toys in West portal, where generations perused everything from handcrafted puzzles to science kits and stuffed animals. Or the historic Clay Theater, a neighborhood art house that screened the kinds of films that launched a thousand coffeehouse conversations, and midnight showings of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, which spilled throngs of laughing youth onto the late night sidewalks, toast crumbs falling from their pants as they danced the Time Warp down Fillmore street.
The impending re-opening an old favorite, Clement Restaurant, happily bucks this trend.
After five long years since their kitchen fire and closing, a clean, bright and welcoming new sign for Clement Restaurant has been installed. Also looks like the awning for Clement BBQ next door has been scrubbed of a layer or two of city grime.
More Gleaming appliances have been installed.
How soon is the big day?
“We are just waiting for the government to say OK,” says the employee at Clement BBQ ringing up my order.
What makes Clement Restaurant so special? Certainly there are other Dim Sum restaurants close by that offer a tasty Pork Bun and other delicacies? Well, sure. Taste is subjective, as anyone who has ever tried to order and share a pizza with another human being can attest!
There are many wonderful pork bun experiences within mere blocks of Clement restaurant, such as the sweet crispy-topped beauties at Hong Kong Lounge (above).
Hong Kong Lounge’s baked buns are a little smaller, but they are delicious! Saucier and more delicate than those that come out of the oven at Clement Restaurant. You get the sense that they are made carefully, and eating them in a grand, carpeted room at a cloth covered table under twinkling chandeliers just feels right.
Unlike Clement Restaurant, where the few rickety tables jammed against the wall were covered only in the sticky remains of the last customer’s order, and you have to ask for a napkin to wipe down the table before popping open a plastic container to consume your food.
But I don’t care!
Taste rules, but you cannot overestimate the power of personal association and the sixth sense of memory.