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Apr 23, 2008 04:14 PM

Chinese food experiences - more?

I've been following up on responses to my "out-of-towner looking for great Chinese restaurants in the Bay Area" post. Several hounds mentioned China Village in Albany and since I have been visiting a friend in the Berkeley hills I have stopped by for take-out a couple of times. I found the food to be happily comparable to my San Gabriel Valley haunts; not Americanized at all. I had a great bacon and leek dish, really good ants-climbing-a-tree, a decent mapo tofu and an unusual "chitterling with pickled vegetable." Anyone have any favorites from this place that I should try?

Another Chinese meal that I liked a lot was called Taiwan Restaurant on Clement in SF, called Taiwan Restaurant with tremendous pot-stickers (I'm not even a big pot-sticker fan) and noodles and seafood. I'm a big dim sum fan and was steered to a restaurant in Marin called Harmony, the food was not bad but the prices seemed astronomical after Clement Street.

I got take-out one night from R&G in Chinatown but I don't think I ordered well - I wasn't too impressed or maybe take-out is an unfair way to judge. While waiting for my food I even walked down to House of Nanking to see if I find glean some insight into the controversy. There was a crowd of people waiting to get in, and when I went inside it seemed that the Anglo crowd were all eating the same thing, though it didn't look bad.

So, Ok - that's the up-to-date report. Please giive me a couple more places to round out my tour - we still have a couple weeks left up her.

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  1. Since you're staying in Berkeley, you should know there's a branch of Taiwan in downtown Berkeley.

    There are many, many posts about what to eat at China Village -- if you click on the places link, the page will have links to quite a few previous discussions. You might also want to try Great Szechuan -- which has some former China Village chefs, and do a comparison.

    For another regional favorite, you might want to check out Shanghai in Oakland Chinatown (again see the places page for reports and recommendations).

    You're right -- R&G Lounge is really not a take-out place. If you go back, sit yourself down and order a salt and pepper crab.

    Shanghai Restaurant
    930 Webster St, Oakland, CA 94607

    Taiwan Restaurant
    2071 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

    China Village
    1335 Solano Ave, Albany, CA 94706

    Great Szechuan (closed)
    3288 Pierce St, Richmond, CA

    1. Another on Clement St: China First - try their Gnau Nam (Beef Stew) Gon Lo Won Ton. The S&P Chicken Wings on their "specials" menu is pretty darn good too. They also have budget-wise wo choy dinners. Then across the street to the corner Toy Boat for dessert!

      1. Great China has its following - the Peking Duck is a favorite among many. There are a few more details in this thread and if you do a search more will come up. Double Skin as an opener is another favorite.......

        Great China Restaurant
        2115 Kittredge St, Berkeley, CA 94704

        2 Replies
          1. re: gordon wing

            Definitely check out Great China if you liked China Village. Try some of the Korean-Chinese dishes like tan soo yuk (sweet and sour beef or pork) and ja ja myung (noodles with brown sauce).

            PS: R&G is the kind of place you go for a big family dinner, not so much takeout. If you go back, try the birds nest (or as my dear departed uncle use to say "sheafood bashket").

          2. One more place: Jai Yun in SF. A very different experience than those previously mentioned....... here's a link to a somewhat recent dinner w/photo link.


            Jai Yun
            680 Clay St, San Francisco, CA 94111

            1. Not a lot of stuff in the Bay Area that you can't find as good or better in SGV. (SGV is a much better place to satisfy your Hunan cravings.) However, I would recommend that you go to Koi Palace in Daly City, as I think it's better than anything we have down in the L.A. area.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Chandavkl

                Shanghai Dumpling King has caught up and passed some XLB places in SGV, like Din Tai Fung. I had DTF and SDK on back to back weekends and SDK really was better. I understand some people don't like DTF and it's declining but my experience has been collaborated by a few others. I was surprised. .

                1. re: ML8000

                  Yeah, DTF seems to be living off its reputation. You can do much better and cheaper on Valley Bl., so it's not surprising that you can do better in the Bay Area, too.