Abacus in USF/Panhandle area -- Part Deux [San Francisco]
I got so excited about this place that I sent off the email b4 I wrote the review!
What a lovely, adult, romantic, classy gem of a neighborhood place. 10 tables, linens, fresh flowers, candles, soft music.. and excellent Asian fusion food. We ordered spicey, and on the less expensive side, and were very happy with our selection. Presentation was wonderful, and we look forward to returning over and over again since we live in the neighborhood. We also look forward to trying some of the higher prices "chef's specialties". If you're looking for a "scene" or a place for little children (noisy) to dine, this isn't for you. But if you're looking for a quiet, elegant place with terrific food, you'll be pleased.
Cute place. The decor currently has a tastefully done Batman theme.
The Red Braised Pork Belly in Shao Shing Wine Sauce has very clean flavors and is excellent. The quality of the meat comes through and the braising liquid isn't overpowering. The fleshy part is meaty and tender and the skin has a great texture that is neither rubbery nor gooey. This was much better than what I recently had at Bund Shanghai.
We also ordered the mango chicken, spicy basil chicken, garlic pea shoots, mu shu pork, and chicken chow mein. Each one tasted healthful and very fresh. They were not even remotely greasy. On the downside, the flavors weren't particularly bold. Chow mein isn't my thing, but my friends liked the chicken chow mein the best of all those dishes. It seemed to use spaghetti noodles.
Including rice for 4, this take-out order came to $77. Based on the quality of the red braised pork, I may try one of the chef's specialties. They consist of fusion dishes, and if I understood the person over the phone correctly, are in the $20+ range. The online menu has no prices:
Edit: The longest previous report on Abacus is at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/46465