Saturday, May 14, 2011

Little Green Cyclo - Five Spice Grilled Chicken Garlic Noodles

The bar for garlic noodles is set pretty high in San Francisco by Thanh Long in the Outer Sunset. It's owned by the An family, who also run Crustacean and the An the Go truck. The first time I had them I fell in love and ordered a second serving, even though I was full. Since then I have tried making them at home (I came pretty close!) and it's a favorite dish of mine when I order out. In perusing the selection of trucks at Off the Grid on Haight Street last Thursday I found myself in front of Little Green Cyclo, a lime green truck and behind a girl eating tater tots. "I want those," I thought to myself, and queued up behind a group of people.

Little Green Cyclo, serving up Vietnamese street food, had a variety of items on their menu this evening, but immediately the garlic noodles caught my eye. They were served with either grilled pork, five spice chicken or tamarind tofu. Once I decided on that I took some time to read their mission statement, so to speak, and was pleased that their ingredients are organic and that they shy away from delivering food in plastic containers. I ordered the Five Spice Grilled Chicken Garlic Noodles, along with the tater tots and a Banh Mi, and hung back to wait with the rest of the hungry customers.

I received my food in under 10 minutes, which was quick by OtG standards, and carried it back to my waiting husband and son. I was disappointed to see that they gave me sweet potato fries instead of tater tots, but maybe they ran out or I could have even ordered incorrectly. My disappointment was short-lived once I put a forkful of those garlic noodles in my mouth, however. After just one bite I picked up the container from the "share" area and tried to hoard it for myself. The noodles were slightly chewy without being tough or undercooked, and it was a huge serving. They were topped with pieces of grilled chicken, sliced green onions and diced peanuts. The chicken was tender and juicy, and had just the right amount of seasonings. I find that sometimes these dishes can be either too greasy or too salty but this was neither. It was just fabulous, and I was so happy with my selection.

The Five Spice Grilled Chicken Garlic Noodles are not a regular menu item, so they were on special for this week. A bunch of other people around me ordered them as well so perhaps their popularity will help them jump into regular rotation.

Little Green Cyclo (@lilgreencyclo) $8.00 per order

Little Green Cyclo (Food Truck) on Urbanspoon

Does reading this make you want to try this vendor? Tell them that you saw them at I Left My Cart in San Francisco and support San Francisco street cuisine!


  1. I tried the garlic noodles with five spice chicken and truffle oil. You'd think it was a winning combination by the description, but it was just okay for me. The noodles were a bit chewy and the chicken and truffle oil were blah.

    As a side note, they messed up my order twice (first they gave me pork and then added peanuts which I'm allergic to). They actually ran after me and seemed genuinely concerned. I got a free tapioca drink for my troubles.

  2. Maybe they were overwhelmed that day? They actually messed up my order too and gave me fries when I ordered tater tots. That was disappointing because I really wanted to try tater tots, but the fries were pretty good. At least they caught you before you ate the peanuts!


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