Unknown restaurant on California and 6th Ave........
- srf1 Feb 6, 2001 02:38 PM
Does anybody have the particulars on the restaurant on the West side of California at 6th Ave???
I've driven slowly past there many times and still cant read the proper name for it - possibly Bistro Chin or Chen??? All I know is it looks pretty decent inside (for a local restaurant) and sometime soon I'll pull over and look at the menu in the window, but YOU CANT READ THE NAME OF THE RESTAURANT ON THE AWNING!! Maybe that will be the hook to get me in there - if I cant read the name, I'll stop just to find out and eat there. Any notes or local help will be appreciated.
I did a proximity search in Yahoo, and here are the restaurants closest to that intersection:
Lee's Garden Cafe 4406 California St San Francisco, CA (415) 668-0858 0.0
Tanuki Restaurant 4419 California St San Francisco, CA (415) 752-5740 0.0
Mandalay Restaurant 4344 California St San Francisco, CA (415) 386-3895 0.0
Local Bar & Grill 4314 California St San Francisco, CA (415) 386-0916 0.0
Cam Kee Restaurant 291 6th Ave San Francisco, CA (415) 752-0968 0.1
Is it any of these?
btw, California is an east-west street--do you mean the west side of 6th Ave?
Was hoping to check out the place you've been eyeing, and found two Japanese places on the W corner of 6th & Cal. Not recalling that you had helped clarify the name, I chose the wrong one I believe -- the one on the SW corner -- Restaurant Tanuki. (This place can remain in obscurity -- average freshness of the scallops, bitter eggplant, bottled eel sauce, noodle salad drenched in mayonnaise, salt/pepper on table, but no soy....)
I did catch a glimpse of the other place's menu on the NW corner. I couldn't read the name on the sign either! The menu included sushi and standard Japanese entrees, as well as NY Strip and some westernized entrees. Reminded me of the unfortuante ChinaTown trend toward diversification by adding spaghetti & meatballs, hamburgers, etc to their menus.
Thanks for the suggestion -- always fun checking out new places....
re: Kara Elise
Western food on the menus of Chinatown restaurants can hardly be called a "trend". This has been going on since there were boarding houses and restaurants in SF Chinatown, probably 100+ years. Restaurants like Uncle's serving a mix of Chinese and American dishes were more the rule than the exception until the 1960's when a new wave of immigrants came to Chinatown. These old time lunch places can be the best value for prime rib and apple pie a la mode you'll find.
If you look in the kitchen of nearly any restaurant of size in Northern Calif., you'll see that the staff are mostly Latino. Twenty-five years ago, kitchen help were Filipino, and before that, you got it, Chinese. The wealthy families in Pacific Heights mansions had indentured Chinese houseboys ("the Chinaman in the basement") who may also have cooked or helped in the kitchen. One of my uncles was sent from China as a boy to live with such a family nearly 70 years ago, learned to cook Western food and developed a taste for it. The Chinese camp cook, out on the range a la Ponderosa Ranch, is an authentic part of California history, not TV fiction.
A more recent phenomenon in Chinatown is the arrival of Hong Kong-style coffee shops which serve Western dishes. The food is an interpretation of what Hong Kong people consider American food. When their clientele move to the States, the big Hong Kong restaurant chains followed them to San Francisco to offer the type of "American" food they grew up with.
re: Melanie Wong
It's an interesting flip/twist on the Chinese-American restaurants of the 1940s=70s that catered to a western/non-Chinese clientele and served both the Americanized Chinese dishes that were expected, and also American standards like prime rib and pie. Now you see not only the hybrids, but restaurants serving imported "Asianized" versions of typical American food that was imported (or brought back) from here to there...and back again.