Best East Bay Chinese Hot & Sour Soup?
Okay, really craving Chinese hot & sour soup, but everything I've tried lately has been bland--not sour enough, not peppery enough. Anyone have a fav, with a nice quantity of tofu, bamboo, black fungus, etc., but, most importantly, true complexity of flavor?
Shan Dong, in Oakland Chinatown. A lot of people complain that it is too spicy, and I find the quantity of components a bit off in some way I cannot explain, but the broth is excellent. They sometimes have it as their complimentary soup at lunchtime, so you could sample it then.
About a quarter of the time, Bay Fung Tong (downtown Oakland) makes an okay one, but you have to ask for it "extra spicy" and hope to get the good cook -- and still add some vinegar and white pepper.
Hunan Village on Grand in Oakland used to have marvelous hot'n'sour, but have gone downhill in the last few years.
Other than those things, I haven't liked much that I've eaten in Oakland. It goes from non-vinegary to bland to "what are these chewy things in here?" to some nasty glop thickened with corn starch (Manila Garden, the only place I have willingly chosen not to finish my hot'n'sour).