Sam Wo, built shortly after the 1906 earthquake at 813 Washington Street by three immigrant siblings from the village of Taishan, China, was famous for inexpensive barbecue pork rice noodle rolls and porridge called jook until 3:00AM. Old timers remember when Chinatown generations ago was the destination after a night out for siu yeh, Cantonese for late night meals popular in Hong Kong and South China. For many people, eating at Sam Wo grew into a family tradition. For others, the restaurant came to symbolize an important time in their lives.
BBQ Pork Rice Noodle Roll
Chow Mein w/ Tomato & Beef
Combination Wonton Soup
Beef Chow Fun
30-year owner at Sam Wo, chef David Ho 60 (Edsel’s father was good friends with David’s grandfather) said he couldn’t even begin to imagine a new promising business model, when in the uphill struggle to reopen at the former site failed. When the first proposal attempt to restore the original location on Washington Street failed because of the cost and breakdown in dialog with the landlord.
After a long three year search, they eventually landed the former Anna Bakery space at 713-715 Clay Street, across the street from Portsmouth Square and a few blocks from the Financial District. And in a serendipitous twist, a mezzanine and basement allowed the regime to recreate a version of Sam Wo’s three-story dynamic. The new Sam Wo location is a few blocks from its former home.