ISO really good char siu in the Bay Area
I did a cursory search and did not find any recent references to char siu sightings. Does anyone have a favorite neighborhood chinese deli with excellent char siu by the pound? Oakland Chinatown (Yung Kee, Gold Medal??) is closest to me but am willing to travel for a worthy product.
I generally don't buy their char siu, but you might try Gum Wah on 9th nextdoor to Joy Luck. I am a big fan of their spareribs and I assume if they know how to do ribs, they know how to do char sieu. My mom likes it, but I find it a bit on the lean side. Maybe I'm just picking the wrong pieces. Their ducks and roast pork are pretty good too. They also make a pungent cow yook, with or without taro, and won tons with big whole shrimp.
One of my favorites is the version from ABC Seafood restaurant Foster City. They use an entirely different cut of pork than the to go places, very high quality, and a lot more expensive. You can taste the honey glaze on it too, and the pork is very tender to boot.
For a gourmet dinner, get an order of two for that, and cook some ho fun soup, add some veg. This is fantastic comfort food fit for home.
I would expect Andy Wai, former executive chef at Harbor Village, Tai Wu, and now in his own restaurant in San Mateo to do an even more spectacular version, considering he did recently write a Chinese circulation article (east eats/gourmet mag) about a receipe for cha shiu, and he's arguably the best Cantonese food chef in this country, having so much golden experience than other people.
Gold Medal's char siu is decent, and as they get a lot of foot traffic, the product is pretty fresh. My favorite is their salt baked chicken. There used to be a small store around the corner from there, on the same side as the old Tin's location that sold my favorite version with a honey glaze, but I think they are closed now. Across the street from Gold Medal is a take out BBQ shop (next to the pastry/dim sum place), that I also get char siu from occasionally.