any recomendations for desent chinese food? china town or any part of san francisco,Vacationing from new york area.One problem my 13 yr old son eats wonton soup and lo Mein I know BORING Thanks again
There is good Chinese food everywhere. Search the board for some options.
I recently ate at San Wang, which is in Japantown. They have excellent hand pulled noodles - both you and your son would probably like these, and they also have lots of other dishes - seems like seafood is a specialty.
However, you can get lo-mein-like dishes anywhere....so what kind of food do *you* want?
Big Lantern is a good bet if you are confined to the Mission or you are a vegetarian who likes Chinese fake meat dishes. Otherwise, I wouldn't go out of your way to visit while on vacation. If you are in the Mission, try one of the many great taquerias instead.
R&G Lounge is a decent destination Chinese place in Chinatown proper. They have a good variety of live seafood and prepare their meat dishes with higher than average [Chinatown] quality cuts. The place even has an upstairs that is relatively classy in look and feel.
Yuet Lee is a fun bet if you don't mind a slightly grubbier place with great fresh seafood. It is on the border of Chinatown and North Beach.
House of Nanking is a controversial but popular Chinatown destination that your son might enjoy. It is well-known for having an owner who prefers to order for you.
The Richmond and Sunset districts hold a wide variety of moderately-priced Chinese places, many of which are quite good. That said, those neighborhoods aren't as transit-convenient for the average tourist.
R & G Lounge
631 Kearny St, San Francisco, CA 94108
re: Dave MP
"The Chinese word 撈 (lāo in Mandarin and lau in Cantonese) means scoop something out of water, or separate something from water, like straining. The same written 撈 (pronounced differently as lo) also means stir or mix in Cantonese. It can either mean "stirred by the chef" or "stirred by the eater". To native Chinese, the name refers to a way of serving noodles rather than a particular dish.
Unlike American "lo mein," the dish is not stir fried; it is the "dry" version of soup noodle dishes, which is the standard way that non-fried noodle dishes are advertised. Effective, it is regular boiled noodle soup with various toppings, except that the broth is served separately in a bowl. Consensus on broth eating is elusive: people drink it before, during, and after eating the noodle. Others dip the noodles into the broth before eating; still others pour a small amount of the broth over the noodles occasionally to keep them moist, but not soaked. The last manner of eating seems most etymologically apt, as the broth is mixed with the noodles at the table according to preference."
I've seen lo mein at most Chinese restaurants in the Bay Area make lo mein described as above (dry noodles with topping and broth on side). Chow mein as stir fried noodles with ingredients cooked with.
In NY area, the lo mein is the stir fired noodles (soft noodles) that we call chow mein here. Whereas their chow mein is mostly a bunch of stir fried vegetables as described by wikipedia below. The noodle there are more a garnish/side item than the main feature.
"In Anglo-American Chinese cuisine, it is a stir-fried dish consisting of noodles, meat, and cabbage and other vegetables. It is often served as a specific dish at westernised Chinese restaurants with soy sauce and vegetables such as celery, bamboo shoots, and water chestnuts. "
Indeed, asking for good Chinese is like asking for good pizza, Italian or deli in NYC...you're going to 500 different answers with 1,000 very specific break downs.
If you're in Chinatown, I would also recommend R&G Lounge. Overall it will be a pleasant experience, clean, friendly, modern. If you want to get the best, Koi Palace in Daly City. Also, if you're staying w/ someone or a hotel, ask them, at least you can pick up "side" info, or get a better scoop.
You'll have to define "decent" first. But if you are in the City the R&G Lounge is a good suggestion. They have wonton soup and lo mein (or as we call it on the left coast, chow mein). Wonton soup is definitely not boring. It's the subject of many a discussions, as in hot dogs, pizza, and BBQ.
I find that kids like dim sum. Lots of good places. I like Canton on 655 Folsom, or if you're willing to get out to the Richmond district, Ton Kiang on Geary (some would say overrated, but it's a "friendlier" place to order) or next door Dragon River or further out is May Flower, both are more Hong Kong authentic and quite good (most of these will have good chow mein and other dishes as well). Try ordering Hong Kong style chow mein, for the deep fried noodles... you may never go back to soft noodles again!
Other styles of Chinese might be Shanghai Dumplings. I find kids love these too. Shanghai Dumpling Shop on Balboa (again out a ways... but worth the drive) have great dumplings, and make sure you order the Lion Head meatballs in soup for the largest meatballs you've ever seen, your kid will get a kick out of these. Here's a local article on Shanghai D.S.
San Tung is great on 11th and Irving (?). The chicken wings are to die for and the greenbeans are a must.
If you venture to the East Bay...China Village Dong Po duck next to the Cheung Hing roast duck is the best duck you'll ever find this side of the Pacific. The Kim Chi is outstanding as well.
Lam Hoa Thuan serves wonderful (and interesting) wonton noodle soups, including one with "orange skin preserved duck" and "thick" (actually flat like linguini) egg noodles that I like very much. The name sounds Vietnamese because the owners are Vietnamese of Chinese descent and they serve both Chinese and Vietnamese dishes at the restaurant. The deep fried squids with spicy salt is a fabulous dish and the fried shrimp "cakes" (actually shrimp filling wrapped in dried bean curd wrappers and fried) are also really good. They serve lots of different chow meins and they are also good. And the bbq meats, including char siu, fresh roast pig, two kinds of duck, and soy sauce chicken are excellent. You can also get all sorts of rice plates here and they do vegetables like Chinese broccoli (Gai Lan) with garlic sauce very well.
This is a modest place with community tables -- not fancy, but one of my favorite
Chinese restaurants in the city. Here's a link to their menu:
re: Nancy Berry
Thanks for writing about this place......I want to try it soon. Any sense of which items would be good for takeout, especially to bring to a bar and eat there? (the bar, The Little Shamrock at 9th and Lincoln, allows people to bring in outside food) I'm thinking the shrimp cakes you describe might be good for this, and maybe also noodles and bbq meats. I will probably wait to try the soup when I actually am eating at the restaurant.
Like many have mentioned, R&G is probably the best place in SF. I, however, don't eat things like Lo or Chow Mein in places like this, so I have no idea what those things are like (I'm sure they're like $9 each though).
They have some incredible specialties, one of which is their prawns with pea in XO sauce and also their R&G beef. I'm not one to eat a lot of beef in Chinese joints, since pork is their main meat source, but this is just really interesting.
Shanghai Dumpling King is really good too. Besides Ton Kiang, it's my 3 1/2 yr olds favorite place. Ton Kiang is always a good choice and they are always open. They aren't that crowded for dinner and serve everything on the menu.
The last places I recommend, that aren't authentic, but are good, clean and kids love them are Eliza's on California and Eric's on Church Street. I think they are somehow related (food is very similar and they are both very kid friendly). They both have probably the best chow mein in the City (again, not authentic but very good with very fresh veggies and meat that is lean and tasty). Again, this is one of my son's favorite place (he asks to go to the Chinese place that has the plates for kids).
R&G may be the only really good Cantonese restaurant within SF proper.
I've eaten many meals (usually taken out) by Eliza's and Eric's, both quite a bit better than your run-of-the-mill cheap Chinese restaurants all over the city. They are definitely not destination spots though, just good restaurants in the neighborhood. And they are not Cantonese, which is always a minus in my book.