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Good Chinese in Mission/Potrero Hill

I recently moved to a new apartment, very close to the General Hospital, so sort of between the Mission and Potrero Hill. There is TONS of great food in the area, though most of it is Mexican/Salvadoran....I'm looking for recommendations mainly for any good Chinese in the area, but also potentially recommendations for other Asian (vietnamese, japanese)....there are two Thai places on 24th between Mission and Potrero, I haven't tried either yet. Also the Vietnamese place on Potrero, which got a somewhat bad review on chowhound a few years ago. I have passed by Punjab Chinese/American restaurant (the name is puzzling, and I have looked at the menu but haven't tried anything). Also saw another Chinese place on 24th (Ming's??) which looked like it might be okay. Is there anything else? Thanks a lot,

Dave MP

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  1. Firefly is pretty good and in your general area. There are other okay places in that general area (some even deliver), but I wouldn't necessarily go out of my way for them. Yum Yum is okay for spicier food (though they have so-so dishes too). There is supposed to be a really good Chinese place in that area, but I can't remember what it's called! With luck some other chowhounder will post about it. Frequently though for really good Chinese food I head over to the Richmond or down the Peninsula.


    "Only the wisest men know the art of good eating." Brillat-Savarin

    3 Replies
    1. re: ambrosia

      Firefly isn't Chinese. (American food, despite the pot sticker appetizers).

      1. re: susancinsf

        I think they mean Firecracker on Valencia

        1. re: bdl

          Oops. Yep. I meant Firecracker, thanks. I've never been to Firefly, only seen it on TV.

    2. If you're willing to make the trek over to Mission around 29th, Jasmine Tea House is excellent Chinese - they also deliver, saving you the trip. Also see Dusit Thai about half a block down, and another Thai place on the same block whose name I forget and which is closed for a few weeks for remodeling - both are pretty good, and Dusit delivers.

      1. There isn't really any decent Chinese food in the Mission or Potrero although the lunch time takeout from Mariposa Cafeteria in Dogpatch includes truly amazing roast pork and oxtails in grim surroundings.

        Other Asian:

        Lotus Garden--Vietnamese
        Angkor Borei--Cambodian
        Minako--Japanese esp vegetarian

        Agree, Dusit's okay. Thai House Express in the Castro is better. I do like Thai BBQ on 18th Street but the menu's very limited.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Windy

          Thanks for these suggestions...I'm especially excited about Yamo. I already had heard of Angkor Borei, planning on going there with some friends this week. I'll definitely report back

          Dave MP

        2. Jasmine Tea House is ok, but it's not great. it will do the trick if you have a craving. ( so will the place on 16th between guerrerro and valencia ("big lantern" or something like that)
          this will sound weird to some people, but the food at both those places seems very americanized to me.

          a few years back some friends took me to Mani Vanh Thai on 24th at potrero, and it was some of the best Panang Beef curry i have ever had, but for some reason i haven't been back (i actually know the reason, he has a name and he hates thai food)

          I liked Yo's sushi club the few times i went, mainly for take out. they seem nice and the fish is solid.

          I can't really think of any stellar asain restaurants in the mission, but the asian markets are pretty great.

          Also, where is this Punjab place that you mentioned? sounds interesting.

          11 Replies
          1. re: jupiter

            Punjab is on 24th and what, Bryant? Not sure, but it's very close to St. Francis Fountain. I shy away from this Indian-named Chinese restaurant that offers a "hot dog + soft drink special" in its window.

            I do like Yum Yum House on Valencia (@17th), and they are good for delivery as well. Jasmine Tea House is okay depending on what you order. We've ordered from Wild Pepper with pretty good results and amazingly quick delivery. Here are the Wild Pepper Yelp reviews, for what they're worth:

            1. re: Atomica

              I tried Wild Pepper last week for lunch for the first time and had a huge serving of a non-descript pork dish, along with a non-descript soup. They were very friendly, and it was cheap, but...

              What do you recommend there?

              1. re: Windy

                I said "pretty good" for delivery, which in my world currently translates to serviceable and not horrible after an excruciating day when the last thing I can bring myself to do is cook. We've gotten various things and I can't remember anything in much detail. I think the asparagus with black bean sauce was pretty good, mu shu was pretty standard and inoffensive. I usually get the green onion pancake, which is all right. Husband didn't love the ma po tofu. Nothing has been downright gross like one might get from Shiso. I definitely need to try Wild Pepper's Chili Potato, which I've only seen at one restaurant in Seattle.

              2. re: Atomica

                Yes, Punjab is on the corner of Bryant and 24th....there are always people in there, although I'm not sure what people are eating....the name is definitely interesting, I'll probably try it eventually. Has anyone been?

                1. re: Dave MP

                  I would regularly have a large bowl of wonton soup at Punjab back
                  when I was spending more time in the area, but that was about 12 years
                  ago. The soup was very tasty, there was a lot of it, and it hardly cost
                  anything. If I were back working in the area I'd probably start hitting it
                  for lunch again; it's good to hear they're still in business. Worth a
                  shot if you're in the neighborhood. I'd be interested in a current status report.

                  1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                    Updates on Punjab Restaurant?

                    Punjab Restaurant
                    2838 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                      I still haven't eaten there, although I was also thinking about this place the other day as I walked by. I'll try it sometime soon.

                2. re: Atomica

                  I agree that Jasmine Tea House is exceedingly variable. You'll have to find your favorites, but their won ton soup is a good cure-all, and we like the fish with ginger, the Jasmine shrimp, the Mandarin lamb, and the steamed gai lan. Other dishes have been truly off-putting, often gloppy and sweet or, like the pea shoots, inexplicably tasteless.

                  I had a very mediocre lunch at Garden of Tranquility and have not considered going back. I find Eliza's more Californicated than I can stand. And I think Dusit's food is really weird -- odd flavors, odd ingredients.

                  I used to prefer Pad Thai but our last to go order from there was mediocre at best. Haven't been to Suriya Thai in over a year but their pumpkin curry is memorable. Their specials menu is interesting, definitely the chef's flight of fancy, which can be good or bad depending on what you're expecting.

                  You'll do better with Vietnamese, Lotus Garden on Mission near Valencia is very good although not for take out on the two occasions we tried it to go. And we had one good dinner at Sunflower then never made it back.

                  I'll have to try Yum Yum sometime.

                  1. re: bernalgirl

                    Yeah, Dusit puts shredded cabbage in their Tom Kha. What's that about? I've liked their food better than Pad Thai, though.

                    1. re: Atomica

                      That's exactly the weirdest thing I've encountered there! I also find their food very sweet. Pad Thai's used to be less sweet, but now it's two dimensions of sugar and chile flakes and that's about it. Bummer, they used to have a Thai menu with sticky rice and grilled sausage and all kinds of nice things.

                      1. re: bernalgirl

                        I am going to do a little experiment and order Tom Kha at Dusit and ask for it with no cabbage and see what happens.

              3. The only Chinese restaurant I know of on Potrero is Eliza's on 18th...on restaurant row. Is it good? That's subjective. I heard a nice, reasonable, middle age (50ish), white woman from the Pennisula say, "that's Chinese food that white people eat" (her words). I tend to agree YET I have no problem having a simple rice plate for lunch, something like boy choy or asparagus and chicken. Dinner - nada.

                1. For neighborhood Cantonese-American food, Jade Cafe at 24th & Bryant is as good as you could reasonably expect. They also deliver over a wide area.

                  1. I also hit up Jade Cafe when I'm craving Cantonese food. Sunflower Vietnamese on 16th & Valencia is decent. I haven't tried the pho there though.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Jay H

                      Sounds like Jade Cafe is the closest to my house....I'll probably try it soon. Thanks!

                      Dave MP

                      1. re: Jay H

                        The Jade Cafe is on 16th and Bryant, near the Safeway. There might be another one on 24th and Bryant, but that is the same location of Punjab/Pongal Chinese.

                        I so far agree with everything people are posting regarding Asian in Mission.

                        There is a Korean lunch spot on 16th and 8th street, can't think of the name. It is a island in the triangle that serves Burger and such, but had Bi Bim Bop and other Korean/Japanese Bento type stuff. Not open for dinner so far as I can remember.

                        Keep it going, maybe there are more places to find.

                        1. re: Jeff S

                          You are right, Jade Cafe is at 16th and Bryant. I knew it was across from the Potrero Center, but had my cross streets mixed up.

                          1. re: Gary Soup

                            Well, that's not *as* close to my house, but still close enough to consider...i'll post about it soon,

                            Dave MP

                      2. We used to love Garden of Tranquility, on 17th and Kansas. Haven't been in a while.

                        1. I say forget Chinese, and just order Lotus Garden. We have never been disappointed by their food, regardless of delivery or eat-in. Their soups are great.