SF Gao Viet Kitchen has been vandalized, receives cleaning or faces a fine notice

On any given day, the Instagram account of Gao Viet Kitchen, a Vietnamese restaurant located in San Mateo, is filled with vibrant photos of tasty-looking dishes like Com Suon Nuong (pork-cut rice) served with fried eggs and stir-fry on top, or steaming bowls. From Cha ca La Vong (comeric fish with fresh dill).

The smiling and upbeat celebrity restaurateur, Viet Nguyen, who adds finishing touches to every dish with such charisma and positivity, appears in every post, and it’s no surprise that his food posts reach thousands of followers daily. However, one of Nguyen’s recent social media posts was less optimistic.

On Tuesday, July 19, Nguyen shared a video that showed his San Francisco restaurant, located in the Inner Sunset neighborhood and slated to open within the next few months, once again tarnished with graffiti. In the video, red, gold and black bubble lettering appears covering the entire facade of the building, including the windows.

To make matters worse, the post also revealed that Restaurant Nguyen had been slapped with a San Francisco notice plastered on its wall: “…said the graffiti needs to be cleaned in 30 days or he could face $362. Fine,” as First reported by NBC Bay Area.


“this is [is] what or what [a] Small businesses have to deal with trying to start a restaurant in this “beautiful” city of San Francisco. I live here and love the city but wtf…”, Nguyen wrote in an Instagram post. “I have repainted this building a few times already. Every time I repaint, I’ll have new drawings the next day. Then comes the San Francisco Public Work Publication Warning to remove graffiti or maybe get a fine or quote and the same cycle continues. Wtf want me to do.”

But there may be hope for the small business owners who repeatedly endure frenzy of graffiti.

“Properties that get damaged over and over again can do something called applying for hardship,” Rachel Gordon, a spokeswoman for the San Francisco Department of Public Works, told NBC Bay Area. “San Francisco Public Works will use our crews or contractor crews to go and do the relief courtesy of six months.”


Crispy chicken wings with fresh vegetables.


Wing Y./Yelp

Banh Trang Vietnamese pizza on rice paper.

Banh Trang Vietnamese pizza on rice paper.


Adrienne H./Yelp

Ben cha ko linh, grilled pork belly served with vermicelli noodles, herbs and a side of dipping sauce.

Ben cha ko linh, grilled pork belly served with vermicelli noodles, herbs and a side of dipping sauce.


Adrienne H./Yelp

River shrimp at Gao Viet Kitchen in San Mateo.

River shrimp at Gao Viet Kitchen in San Mateo.


Wing Y./Yelp

Sample dishes at Gao Viet Kitchen in San Mateo. (Wing Y., Adrienne H. / Yelp)


The Department of Public Works told NBC Bay Area on Wednesday that after a two-year hiatus, it began re-enforcing graffiti code violations, leading to warnings to business owners early this week. Public Works also reported that someone had filed a complaint with 311 about Nguyen’s business, in particular, and that it was up to property owners to paint the damage.

An upcoming proposal in the city’s budget could provide $4 million over the next two years to help business owners like Nguyen get financial help for cleaning up and painting unwanted graffiti, especially for those who get hit over and over again.

If the proposal is passed, the city’s anti-graffiti program could begin as early as the fall. Property owners must file a report with the city to receive the necessary assistance as soon as the damage has occurred.

“That’s what I have to deal with every day. I repaint the building, come the next day and get all this graffiti… and I’ll repaint and guess what happens? I’ll get f-king graffiti the next day, every time …” Nguyen said of his Instagram video.



Jaw Feet Kitchen, 313 South San Mateo Doctor, San Mateo. Open Wednesday through Thursday, 4pm to 9pm; Friday to Sunday, 11:30 AM – 9 PM (closed for break from 3:30 PM to 5 PM); Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

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