Sitha Yim chops up vegetables at Sitha's Authentic Khmer Food, a Cambodian pop-up restaurant in San Bruno. (Photo by Magali Gauthier)
By Kate Bradshaw
Sitha's Authentic Khmer Food, a pop-up that has operated out of Pho de Nguyen in San Bruno for just over a year, will move to two new, currently undisclosed locations in the new year after a final weekend Dec. 16-18.
Owner Sitha Yim's path to opening a pop-up restaurant wasn't a straightforward one. A single mom, she works other jobs while running the pop-up and got her start as a chef only about three years ago learning how to make Cambodian beef jerky via online videos, Yim told the Foodist in an interview earlier this year. Fulfilling jerky orders for Cambodian clients put her in contact with the Cambodian American community, and they expressed hunger for other dishes.
Soon she had taught herself to cook a full menu of recipes coming from the Khmer people of Cambodia. After connecting with the owners of Pho de Nguyen, Yim worked out an agreement to take over the kitchen on weekends for her pop-up. The first weekend of December marked the pop-up's one-year anniversary.
The menu includes dishes like prahok ktiss, a spicy pork dip, plus garlic noodles, fresh water clams and amok trei, salmon steamed in banana leaves with a paste made of lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and other ingredients.
"A huge thank you to our bosses Jeannie and Phong at Pho de Nguyen for allowing us to share their space with them. We wouldn't be where we are now without you! We cannot wait to serve and enjoy authentic Khmer food with you again soon!" Yim said on Instagram.
Sitha's Authentic Khmer Food, Instagram: @sithas_authentic_khmer_food.