HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >


Expense Account Asian in SF?

Will be staying in Union Square area for three nights this week. Coming from the midwest I am down for some serious Chinese, Thai or Vietnamese. Who are the top players?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Serious expense account Chinese -
    Tommy Toys, followed by Shanhai 1930 (Tommy Toys go for the 6-course signature dinner - includes lobster and peking duck!)

    Vietnamese -
    Bong Su and Slanted Door (I actually prefer Bong Su but most prefer Slanted Door - Slanted Door has an amazing view for an out-of-towner, looking out at the Bay Bridge)

    1. Expense account Asian and serious Asian are not necessarily the same. If the focus is on spending money, try Silks at the Mandarin Oriental.

      1. I think you'd eat better at Jai Yun and Thai House Express than at most expense-account places.

        1. Thanks for the thoughts, Gary and Robert have good points. My point is I am looking for serious food, within a moderate cab ride of Union Square where price isn't the issue. This is not for "entertaining" anyone other than myself but a nice dish of fresh abalone or the like is in the cards.

          2 Replies
          1. re: gargantua

            My standard reco for serious Cantonese seafood near chinatown is R$G Lounge. It's going to be tough all by yourself, but at least the salt and pepper crab and a nice steamed black cod.

            1. re: PeterL

              Walked by R&G today and they're closed for renovation until March 28th, I think.

            1. Ame is fusion; neither Tommy Toy's nor Shanghai 1930 could be considered "serious" Chinese, from a food standpoint.

              Spring for the longer cab ride and go to Koi Palace in Daly City. If the accountants will look askance, I think Great Eastern probably has the best selection of live seafood. Jai Yun is a good idea, although it's basically a set menu and it's Shanghai style, so it's not as seafood focused as a Cantonese/HK place.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                At Jai Yun, of course, the set is all chef's choice. Shanghainese cuisine in general, though, is often focused on "seafood" (including a lot of freshwater creatures) as Cantonese, just not quite so much on crustaceans. Jai Yun's chef is actually from Nanjing, which has less access to feshs fish (especially froim the sea) than Shanghai.

                I agree with Great Eastern. It''s one of the very few resturants that has Japanese translations on its menu in addition to Chinese and English because it's long been a must stop for Japanese businessmen, specifically for the seafood.

              2. Wiill Chef Nei cook for just one or two people at a single table? I remember reading somewhere that with advance notice, Chef Nei can prepare dishes for well over $100 per person. Not sure how that would work for a single diner though.


                4 Replies
                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    People, the question was an expense account dinner. The answers for Vietnamese are Bong Su, Le Colonial, Ana Mandara or Slanted Door. My preference is for Bong Su (www.bongsu.com).

                    1. re: grubber4

                      The original poster already clarified that he's looking for serious food and price is no object, not for an expense-account place for impressing clients or whatever.

                    2. re: Robert Lauriston

                      When we went as a group of 4 for my BH's mother's birthday, we got one of the pricier menus and at first she was surprised to see adjacent tables with 1 or 2 people getting some of the same dishes, but then we also got extra fancier dishes that they didn't get.

                      The chef seems to put groups on parallel dinner tracks and splits some dishes between tables so he doesn't get overwhelmed. It worked well when we were there. Just be warned that the biggest group with the most expensive meal will dictate the pace of your meal and the wait between courses may be a bit longer if you the same or better than what they order.