Dinner in SF: The Surprise We Kneaded

One of the perks about going to Cal is its close proximity to San Francisco. Aside from being a city of great historical significance, SF is filled with all the exciting sights, sounds, and tastes that could easily satisfy any local, tourist, or student.

San Francisco’s close proximity and accessibility for Berkeley students also allows for the perfect spontaneous weekend outing for friends—and as you can imagine, we take full advantage of that opportunity here at Cal. Luckily, we can satiate those SF cravings as soon as they begin, since SF only about half an hour away by BART (and even less time by car).

On Friday night, my friend, Sam, was looking for a laidback, impromptu way to celebrate his birthday—as always, a little trip to SF proved to be the perfect solution.

Since a majority of our friend group is in Berkeley for summer classes (and since most summer courses don’t require class time on Fridays), heading to SF for a casual dinner seemed like the perfect way to finally get together and celebrate Sam’s big day. Excited for some good food and good company, we met up at a friend’s house in Oakland and convoyed over to Ling Nam, a small restaurant in South San Francisco.

Ling Nam

We enjoyed a ton of good food, shared some laughs, and even saw some other friends from Cal (which was particularly funny since it was about 11:30pm and way too late for traditional dinner time)!

Beef Mami Noodle Soup
Beef Mami Noodle Soup

The staff at Ling Nam were so friendly and welcoming that when they found out it was Sam’s birthday, they brought out a fresh batch of their famous Starbread for our table, on the house! Though I couldn’t quite put my finger on which ingredients were in the Starbread exactly, the bread was warm, fluffy, and sweet—like biting into a buttery cloud.


A box of freshly baked Starbread

Everything was delicious, Sam enjoyed his birthday dinner, and our friends were all able to come together to celebrate. I’m glad that something so simple could so easily remind me of the warmth and happiness I feel with my friends here at Berkeley.

Though I’m only an incoming second year, I’m more and more grateful for Cal everyday—whether it be for community I’ve found here, or the awesome places I get to visit while going to school here.

The only downside of going to Cal and being so close to San Francisco? The fact that I’m now constantly craving Ling Nam and itching to get my hands on the Starbread recipe!

Author: Tori Sardillo

Hey readers, welcome to Bear Talk! My name is Viktoria Sardillo—Tori for short. I am a second year Molecular and Cell Biology major, originally from Apple Valley, California. In addition to leading tours as a Campus Ambassador, I am involved in VMO (Volunteers for Medical Outreach), PAHC (Pilipino Association for Health Careers), PCN (Pilipino Cultural Night) Dancing Cast, and Cal Triathlon. I am fiercely passionate about human health and wellbeing, and believe that the key to collegiate success is striking a balance between academics and personal/extracurricular commitments. UC Berkeley is a beautiful, dynamic place where I am constantly inspired and challenged to become the best person I can be—I hope that by sharing my stories, you too can catch a glimpse of Berkeley’s magic. Thanks for reading and GO BEARS!