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Great Chinese Food in the Tenderloin/Civic Center/Western Addition?

We are visiting an older friend this Saturday for lunch who lives at Van Ness/Sutter. Thinking about bringing over Chinese food - anyone have a good recommendation for takeout down there? We will consider Thai as well...

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  1. there was a decent chinese place on Mission (at Van Ness)that my coworkers and I used to go to when we worked in the area. good for that area..

    1. Gourmet Carousel on the corner of Franklin and Pine can be good and quite inexpensive if you order well. Be sure to get the fried quail. Here's a few more ideas -
      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

      It might be close enough for an outing for your friend. The restaurant is frequented by many non-Chinese and the seniors in the assisted living center across the street and they are quite accommodating.

      5 Replies
        1. re: Foodrat

          What are your favorite dishes there?

          Yimster's post on Gourmet Carousel -
          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            It's been a while for me, but I remember enjoying the yee foo won ton and on other occasions, their freebie house soup.

            I'm checking out their menu and their deep fried intestine and pig skin (clay pot) have piqued my interest for next time.

          2. re: Foodrat

            I returned last night for dinner with two others. It had been several years since I had eaten there but I had fond memories of the food.

            Something has happened, the quality has declined significantly. We had the salt and pepper squid, the portion was generous but the batter too thick and not crispy and underseasoned. We left more than half the order. We also had the pan fried flounder which was over fried, the little meat on the fish was dried out, the sauce which was more like gravy didn't help much. The flounder at D&A is much better and a larger portion. We ordered the chinese greens gag. It had the slightly rotten flavor that comes with veggies that have been stored too long at the bottom of a storage container. The Gung Bao chicken had too much vinegar and not enough red pepper.

            I guess its too much to expect the quality to remain the same.

            1. re: bluecheesewiz

              Very very true. But like most restaurants, they are a few they do well, and most are average to below average. Many people give great glowing reviews, fine. But for me, I do find their dishes to be overly salty, greasy, and gravalious? gravy gravy... I would stand clear of the chow mian (mein), chow fun, and all those other all-in-one kind of dishes.

              Of course no complaints about their prices.

              A few of my favorites and these are about the only things I really order and/or try: salt and pepper pork chops (on the salty side), green beans (they have some dried baby shrimps, some dried root/daikon, etc.), clams, brocolli/garlic, pea shoots. That's about it.

              The wontons are cheap, but then again, there's no shrimp, and the filling is mainly just pork. I order the chicken won ton soup for $4.00 when I need something a tad more healthy.

        2. Your best bet is Thai House Express on the NW corner of Geary and Larkin. Very fresh, well-prepared food.

          1. There's very little good Chinese food in the Civic Center/Tenderloin, certainly none worth taking a visitor to. I'd avoid the place on Mission and Van Ness.

            Gourmet Carousel is a little outside the Civic Center, but definitely worth the trip. You can hop on the #47 or #49 bus going north on Van Ness and be there in less than 10 minutes.

            1. Szechwan Second on Ellis near Larkin.

              It's completely lacking in ambiance, but I enjoy a meal of deep fried sand dab (or salt-baked prawn), salted fish fried rice, and broccoli in oyster sauce. I've not explored much else, occasionally getting prawn chow fun for lunch.

              There are better places for Chinese food, but in my neighborhood, I find it completely service-able. They also have a $4 lunch menu, with a crispy squid that's quite tasty. Open only until 9:30 for dinner.

              1 Reply
              1. Do they have any actual Sichuan dishes on the menu?

                1 Reply
                1. re: Gary Soup

                  Haven't been to this location, but been wanting to try it. it is the sister restaurant to Szechwan Taste on Taraval, a Hakka specialist. If it's like the one on Taravel, no "real" Sichuan dishes.