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Chinese/Japanese/Korean

  • m

I just relocated to the city and I was wondering if anyone had good suggestions for Chinese, Japanese and Korean. There are so many Chinese restaurants, it is hard to decide... But, worse yet, there are too few Korean restaurants. I need some major Help!

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  1. There are a number of posts on this board for Chinese, Japanese, etc. in the city. Try doing a search on "Francisco Chinese" etc. or loading the San Francisco Bay Area Message Board index and browsing relevant threads. You'll find a lot of suggestions!

    Best,
    Deb H.

    1. Not in the City and none I've tried personally, but here's a list of recommendations from a friend.

      San Jang Korea Palace
      880 S. To San Carlos
      go east over overpass

      Gae Sung (general, good banchan)
      2089 El Camino
      west @ San Tomas Exp
      Off of 101 S

      Goong Jun BBQ (massive space)
      1092 El Camino Real
      north of Lawrence Exp
      next to Hangook Market

      Oon nori (mandoo)
      across from above

      Tofu House (best soondubu)
      3450 E. El Camino Real
      2 blks. South of Lawrence

      Myong Dong Soon DuBu
      (soojaebi, naengmyun)
      1 blk north of ECR
      left on 1484 Halford Ave.
      Bakery next to it

      Dae Sung BBQ (quieter)
      606 S. Bernardo Ave.
      N. On Lawrence
      left on bernardo

      3 Replies
      1. re: Melanie Wong

        I will have to agree that the soondubu here rocks! Actually, that is pretty much the only thing on the menu, so it'd better be good... The soondubu at Myong Dong Tofu Cabin (5 minutes away) doesn't have as much flavor. However, they do have like 5 times the seating that Tofu House has, so if you're dying for some soondubu and the wait at the Tofu House is an hour, it is an option.

        1. re: Nancy Acton

          Thanks for the chowhound corroboration. Anything else you'd recommend ordering at those two places?

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            The Tofu House really only sells soondubu. They have some kind of "Asian salad" on the menu that my hubby ordered once. It was basically a big plate of iceberg lettuce. There may have been a few pieces of tofu. Not recommended.

            The Myung Dong Tofu Cabin has a slightly more varied selection. Their bibimbap looked decent although I've never personally tried it.

      2. If you want authentic (I am Chinese American originally from Taiwan), here are some suggestions according to style of cuisine:

        Dim Sum - Mayflower Restaurant (on Barber Lane in Milpitas Square, Milpitas). There is another location of this restaurant at the Great Mall in Milpitas, but it doesn't seem to be as good.

        Shanghai - Silver Wing Restaurant (in Ranch 99 plaza at corner of Homestead and Wolfe, Cupertino)

        Cantonese/Seafood - Joy Luck Place (same Ranch 99 plaza as above in Cupertino)

        Szechuan - Yu Rong (off De Anza Blvd right off Hwy 85) in Cupertino/San Jose. This place just opened 1-2 months ago. There are some VERY interesting preparations of hot and spicy dishes I have never seen before in the U.S such as the water boiled beef (which is then served with lots of white pepper and hot chilly oil). Try the 8 Treasure Tea.

        Muslim - Fatima Restaurant (De Anza Blvd, Cupertino). Chinese Muslim cooking specialize in lamb and beef dishes (no pork). Try the lamb with scallions, sesame seed pancake (I like thin better than thick), any clay pot (very big serving for at least 4), and any knife shaved noodle.

        General - Hong Fu (Stevens Creek Blvd in the Mervin's Plaza, Cupertino). Doesn't specialize in any particular style of cuisine but good overall. Try the Little Hunan Stir-Fry (only in the Chinese menu) for tongue-searing goodness (thin pork strips stir-fried with black beans and lots and lots of chilis)

        Hope this helps!

        8 Replies
        1. re: Nancy Acton

          Nancy, super post! I'm really excited to get the word on South Bay spots, as there's so much new activity down there. I've been wanting to try Silver Wing - any specific suggestions for dishes?

          Have you run across any Chiu Chau style goose?

          And, have you been to Canton Delights Seafood Restaurant in Cupertino (10125 Bandley Drive)? I met the owner, Simon Leong, at a wine tasting last year and have been meaning to try it. He says they cater to Japanese business men!

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            Hi Melanie,

            Silver Wing is a great place because Shanghainese cuisine is otherwise very difficult to find, although the parking at that Ranch 99 plaza is usually a nightmare at meal times. If you go for lunch on a weekend, definitely get the small steamed pork buns (they come 8-10 in a bamboo steamer). For dinner, I'd recommend steamed "silver silk rolls" (3 small buns to a plate), "lion's head" (3 big stewed Chinese meatballs with napa cabbage), and if you're adventurous, they have good stewed sea cucumbers, braised pork roast ("ti pon" in Mandarin) and "shan" fish (they look like fresh black anchovies) with Chinese yellow chives. There are also 2 good traditional Shanghai-style soups ("yen dou shien" and one with "gan se" or tofu threads). Sorry I don't know the names of these in English... There is also a spare rib dish (spare ribs Yang-Chow style?)that is an authentic "sweet and sour". I think there is also an 8 treasure duck and/or tea infused duck that looked good.

            I'm not sure I'm familiar with Chiu Chau style goose. Do you know what the Chinese characters are for Chiu Chau?

            I have been to Canton Delight on Bandley Drive many times. We usually go for dim sum on the weekend. The quality is not as good as Mayflower in Milpitas, but the wait is usually minimal if you get there by 11:30. Their dim sum selection includes quite a few fried items which I don't like as much (I'm more into steamed items) but I've been told that is actually more authentic Cantonese. Their dinner and seafood is so-so. Live coral prawns by the pound are pretty good, but I think for dinner you're better off going to the Joy Luck Place in the same plaza as Silver Wing.

            1. re: Nancy Acton

              Nancy, thanks for the valuable input. All loaded into my PDA for reference in the not too distant future!

              Maybe our resident Chiu Chau/Teochew chowhound, Limster, can give you the appropriate characters.

              1. re: Melanie Wong

                Chiu Chau/Teochew is a dialect but not a language in itself, so the characters should be the same as that for Chinese. The pronunciation in Mandarin for braised goose would probably be something like "hong shau erh" ("hong shau" = red cooked/heated, "erh" = goose). The pronunciation for "Teochew" in Mandarin should be "Chau Zhou". If I remember correctly, Chau is the character for "facing" (possibly with an added symbol for water - can't remember) and "zhou" is the character for state. It's hard to convey the intonations precisely though. I hope this helps a bit.

                Truth of the matter is, I'm actually Hokkien, and know very little spoken Teochew. That doesn't stop me from loving their goose though. *grin*

                1. re: Limster

                  Thanks for helping out with the Chinese characters, Limster.

                  One of my cousins told me that Mayflower in Milpitas has the goose from time to time. She also said that US-goose is larger and not as tender as the ones she's enjoyed in Hong Kong.

                  1. re: Limster

                    Thanks Limster for the linguistic assistance. I know which characters you are referring to, and I have had dishes from the Chau state (yes, the character for Chau is "facing" with the water radical). I must say though that I am not familiar with Chau Zhou "hong shau" goose specifically, but it sounds really delicious! I am a big fan of goose myself. I will keep on the look out for this dish from now on. Where have you had this in the past?

                    p.s. This is getting *really* off-topic, but I usually denote the tones in Chinese with numbers after each word, so that "hong shau eh" would be written as "hong2 shau1 eh2" with intonations.

                2. re: Nancy Acton

                  One tiny quibble: Silver Wing isn't properly speaking Shanghainese, but Yangchow-style. The two cities aren't far from one another, but Silver Wing has a few specific Yangchow dishes (or did--I was a devotee before the brigands deserted the San Gabriel Valley for the undercivilized Bay Area) that Shanghainese restaurants don't.

                  1. re: Pepper

                    OK. I agree. I wasn't sure anyone would know what I meant if I say Yangchow-style, and it is similar enough to true Shanghainese, so... I flubbed. At least my mom and grandparents, who are from Shanghai, thought the restaurant was very good.

            2. 1) Korean Village Restaurant
              4611 Geary (10th & Geary, next to a funeral parlor)
              Tel: 415/751-6336
              (Korean barbeque; says something like "Korean Charcoal Barbeque" on outside. Very reasonable & authentic.)

              2) Brothers Restaurant
              4128 Geary (betw. 5th & 6th)
              Tel: 415/387-7991 

              Brothers Restaurant II (Korean barbeque)
              4014 Geary Blvd. (betw. 4th & 5th)
              Tel: 415/668-2028  
              (Korean barbeque; pricier than Korean Village. Harder to get in , but excellent dolsot bibimbap in a hot stone bowl with crusty rice bits.)

              3) Coriya Hot Pot City
              852 Clement St (9th & Clement)
              San Francisco, CA 94118
              Tel: 415/387-7888
              (All-you-can-eat hotpot buffet where you cook at your own table, reasonable. The buffet layout can get messy-looking, but I don't care.)

              For all of these places, wear sweats or clothes you don't care about, as you're going to come out smelling like smoke.

              Best,
              Deb H.

              1. I don't have too much experience with Korean. I always go the the same place--Korea House on Post. We like the marinated meats you cook yourself and they bring about 10 or so dishes of excellent tasty dishes and pickles and kim chee type condiments with your meal.

                Hahn's Hibachi is like healty fast food Korean. Big portions, satisfying but not too refined.