San Francisco's Best Dim Sum?
I am a NY chowhound visiting till Sunday night and want a taste for San Francisco's most authentic, tastiest dim sum. Location is not so important, just quality. I'm not scared of dingy chinatown digs, and I'll wake extra early for the city's best. If you could also suggest dishes not to miss at particular restaurants that would also be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance
If your in Chinatown and don't mind dingy, I would give Dol Ho in China town a try. Its specialty is steamed rice with spare ribs. If you come in the late afternoon you'll find housewives coming by in droves buying their raw marinated spareribs by the pound for their family dinners. But note, while this place is very cheap, i.e.you'll be in a major food coma state if you spend 10 dollars, its dishes are quite strongly flavored with MSG.
If you want great quality in cleaner and more comfortable surroundings abet at a greater price then I would try Parc Hong Kong on Geary. All around the dishes are quite good, although the Taro puffs are a tad oily. Note, this place is not push cart style, you order off their menu. I tend to prefer this as things are steamed to order and seem fresher, however it can be more difficult if your not familiar with what dishes you want. Although others may disagree I would rank Parc Hong Kong higher then Ton Kiang, but I have more Cantonese tastes. If you look in their window at noon during a busy weekend day Ton Kiang seems to be more favored by Caucasian people where as Parc Hong Kong is filled with more Cantonese Chinese.
808 Pacific Ave
San Francisco, CA 94133
Parc Hong Kong
1718 Geary Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94115
What do you like at Ton Kiang?
Frankly, I've been hugely disappointed every time I've gone. Most times, their shrimp has tasted old with an almost freezer-burn ickiness and since they put shrimp in a lot of their dumplings, that's a huge negative expecially considering the price point and lines.
On a recent visit to San Francisco we went to Good Luck Dim Sum on Clement. Hole in the wall, dirt cheap, good dim sum. You order at a counter. Clement Street has other very good Asian restaurants. We enjoyed The House of Clay Pot, especially the fish with corn sauce. Taiwan restaurant for dumplings. Burma Superstar for fabulous Samusa Soup. One of the best soups I have ever had. We enjoyed Great Eastern in Chinatown. You order off a menu, no carts. There are some different choices. Near Great Eastern is Golden Flower for incredible Vietnamese Pho. Cash only at Golden Flower. Gold Mountain and New Asia have good dim sum served from carts. We miss SF very much and cannot wait to return.
Since you mentioned "dingy" I'll recommend my personal favorite (and duck before the neatnicks throw their bricks). That would be the cavernous Y. Ben House on Pacific between Stockton and Powell Streets. I'd say anything from the carts is good if you can grab it while it's hot, but I'm partiuclarly fond of the stuffed tofu skin (both the braised and the deep fried versions). And for an "anchor" dish for the table, the seafood chow fun is one of the best dishes of any kind at any Chinatown restaurant that I know of.
Also worthy, but less dingy, are Gold Mountain on Broadway (carts) and Lichee Garden on Powell (no carts, but trays).