I must have driven by Wild Pepper restaurant a hundred times, peering in at the dining room. Since its recent remodel the place has seemed even more inviting. Curiously, for all the culinary voyeurism, I had never stopped to dine. The other day Chinese food seemed to be a good idea, so it was lunch at Wild Pepper. The experience was superb.
We had a special surprise when Ming greeted us; we remembered him from a favorite Asian restaurant in Noe Valley. Evidently he and his brother bought Wild Pepper two years ago.
The modern menu reflects their fresh sensibilities. I worried that my delight was a result of value and nostalgia. Well, we have been back three times and the experience has been identical — excellent.
The lunch menu has 41 items, many of which are “healthy” or vegetarian.
Today I had crispy chicken, while my wife had prawns and tofu in lobster sauce. Both were light, nicely presented and delicious. The prices were moderate, making Wild Pepper a real value. Most items were $6 to $10; the most expensive items were whole roast duck or whole crispy chicken at $20-$21.
Don’t take my word for it — drop by and see for yourself. The place is easy to find, right next to the Salvation Army drop-off on 26th and Valencia streets.
Check out the online menu. Wild Pepper offers delivery in the Mission and is open seven days a week, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Ask for Ming. You will meet one of the world’s most gracious people.