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Feb 24, 2008 09:50 AM

Best NonAmericanized Chinese in East Bay?

My girlfriend is coming into town next weekend from NYC where she eats in Chinatown at least three times a week. Does anything here compare? Any region is fine.

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  1. No contest, Sichuan at China Village. See the Place entry for links to some of the many reports in the archive and tips on what to order.

    China Village
    1335 Solano Ave, Albany, CA 94706

    1 Reply
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      Or if you're in the far-east bay, Sichuan Fortune House in Pleasant Hill has the former chef of China Village and is excellent (I haven't been to China Village myslef, though, so I can't say which is better). From what I've heard from people who have been to both, the menu is pretty much identical.

    2. I have found that dinner at Legendary Palace in Oakland Chinatown is solid. A couple of weeks ago I ordered the ginger-scallion Dungeness crab. A huge one for less than $14! Since it's crab season that might be a nice treat.

      1. If you want to check out Oakland Chinatown, you might want to try Shanghai and Spices III.

        Shanghai Restaurant
        930 Webster St, Oakland, CA 94607

        Spices 3
        369 12th St, Oakland, CA 94607

        1 Reply
        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          Add Shan Dong to that.

          Shan Dong Mandarin Restaurant
          328 10th St, Oakland, CA 94607

        2. Chef Lau's is very good. High turn-over and fresh prep and produce. Might be the best Canto place in Oakland Chinatown. The "pick 3 for $5 ea w/ house soup" is a great deal. If you want to compare it to NYC...well the produce should be much better and in Canto food, that's more then half.

          1. Legendary Palace is good Hong Kong seafood. I'm not sure it's better than Daimo, which I think is cheaper. Both portion many of the dishes to be shared by a group.

            I like Shanghai much better than Spices!3 or Shan Dong.


            Spices!3 (Taiwan-style Sichuan, more or less) is a lot of fun and some of the food's pretty good, but we had lion's head meatballs there one day and they were so lame we went over to Shanghai to get the real thing.


            You *really* have to know what to order at Shan Dong.


            Daimo Chinese Restaurant
            3288 Pierce St, Richmond, CA 94804

            Legendary Palace
            708 Franklin St, Oakland, CA 94607

            2 Replies
            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              I used to be a big fan of Shanghai in Oakland, but when I was last there over the Christmas holidays the cooking seemed to have gone downhill. We were a party of six and had at least 15 dishes including appetizers, so had a good cross-section (and the Shanghai faction did most of the ordering) but preparation seemed diffident and lacking in the deep, bright flavors associated with Shanhainese cuisine.

              I haven't been to Spices III (or IV, for that matter), only the original pair and enjoyed them, though the deep fried stinky tofu was disapointingly bland. At least they have the excuse of offering a Taiwaese "take" on Sichuan food which gives them a bit of latitude in the authenticity department.

              It's been quite a while since I've been to Shan Dong, but the jiaozi and the rice dishes were always pretty solid, and I haven't seen any creditable reviews to the contrary. There have been lapses in the dumplings when they were between good makers, however.

              If the OP is really referring to New York Chinatown proper and not Flushing, I'd say it doesn't take a Herculean effort to match or top the offerings there.

              1. re: Xiao Yang

                The handmade pork and leek dumplings I had at Shan Dong in September were delicious, but Melanie Wong said we were lucky to have gotten them made to order.