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Apr 6, 2002 04:26 PM

'Americanized' Chinese Food request - Chinatown

  • j

Family is coming into town this week, and has requested to go to a Chinatown Chinese Restaurant with the admonishment to me of 'Please don't pick something too authentic' and 'Choose the best of the touristy places.'

I understand the request, as my grandparents are coming who are very set in their 'Chinese food' ways .... sweet and sour pork, anyone? (g)

After looking through previous posts, it seems as though R & G Lounge may fit my requirements for delicious food while still fitting their need for more Americanized chinese food ...

Do you agree, or have another suggestion? Thanks.

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  1. m
    Melanie Wong

    Jen, I would steer you away from R&G Lounge. The kitchen there has some glaring inconsistencies and I never venture too far from the tried and true. If your family were interested in those specific Hong Kong style specialties (stuffed sticky rice chicken, salt and pepper crab, dried scallops, stuffed eggplant, etc.), I'd certainly send them there. But that doesn't sound like what you're looking for. That said, I was recently there with some friends who needed to order some more "familiar" type of food for the children and the barbecue pork appetizer was very good, as were the eggrolls. The chicken and broccoli had that bleached white tasteless chicken look, although I didn't try it. Whenever I hear criticism of R&G Lounge, it's almost due to poor ordering. There are some landmines in the menu.

    I would suggest instead that you check out Empress of China in SF Chinatown. While I haven't been there for a few years personally, there are a number of posts here recommending it. It is an ornate place and your family will find it appealing for this special occasion. Also, the kitchen is more accustomed cooking for western touristy tastes. You'll be able to find plenty there for your own palate too. Be prepared to pay top dollar.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Melanie Wong

      I agree with Melanie's recommendation, but I don't think Empress charges "top dollar" in this outrageous food meliue (sp). Its not cheap, but comparatively, you will get by for less than most of the trendy places. I've had great luck with Empress for banquets (big and small), and the small dinners were very good. If you should have a party of 8 or so, call ahead and see about a full table in the VIP room. They will help you make your selections, and charge you for the table. It isn't very pracical for a small group, but they excel at the full table method. Everything is calculated for ten people, but for less you can order fewer dishes.

      1. re: Jim H.
        Melanie Wong

        I meant that they'd pay top dollar for a Chinatown restaurant. Empress charges more than the other Chinese restaurants in the neighborhood.

    2. Everyone has hit the target - go to Empress of China.

      I have relatives from the midwest and can't stand anything 'weird' or 'spicy' so when they want 'Chinese', this is where we go. Spectacular view, OK 'Americanized' food just be ready for Egg Fu Yung, Sweet & Sour Pork and Egg Drop Soup.

      Let us know how they liked it!