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Dec 4, 2008 04:20 PM

Chinese food in Marin county?

Hi all, we currently live in Mountain view, home of Castro St and 99 Ranch market and all sorts of good Asian and Chinese food. We are tentatively considering a move to Marin county, hopefully not too far away from Golden Gate bridge and SF, in the next few years because of work reasons. Is there a Chinese community up there? Are there pockets of good Chinese food and grocery stores? Thanks.

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  1. Marin? Chinese? Fugeddaboutit. You might as well be in Fresno.

    When I want good Chinese food, I take a 15-minute drive to the East Bay' s Asian cultural enclave at the Pacific Mall with Ranch99 and nearby restaurants. It's on Pierce Street off of the Central Ave. exit.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Sharuf

      ... or rural Kansas

      While this is probably not all of it, here's what's flagged as Chinese in Marin County in the Places database

    2. Since you also asked about grocery stores I thought that I would mention that the Asian Market on Mary Street in San Rafael (near Whole Foods) is excellent. They have a large selection in a small space and the owners are very helpful. I have never been to 99 Ranch (but have heard about it), but I almost always find what I need at the Asian Market.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Mary64

        Nice tip. Here's an article about it and other ethnic markets in Marin.

        Asian Market
        5 Mary St, San Rafael, CA

        1. re: wolfe

          Has anyone tried Harmony lately? I wasn't impressed with my visit after it first opened and didn't go back. Either people seem to love it like Anna or think, like I did, that the prices were too high and the portions too small.

          Reading the yelp reviews it seems the restaurant didn't take to heart the suggestions for improvement in the Chronicle review last year. Some of the negative yelp reviews are actually hilarious especially the one by the Jewish poster who was disappointed ... "If you are ever lucky enough to visit Marin on Christmas Day, check in with Yet Wah on 4th St. in San Rafael. It's where my temple goes to eat pot stickers and celebrate the baby Jesus' birth."

          Still, I'm such a sucker for them fancy flights of creatiivity ... Fresh Cut Asian Fries (sweet or regular potato) with garlic, green onions and mitsuba (Japanese cilantro) ... $7.50

          It is just the portion/price ratio that gets to me here. I agree with one yelper who said if they just upped the portions a bit it would help.

          Five bucks for two steamed dumplings ... yes I know it is organic ... but still. People say Yank SIng is expensive too .. true, but you get a decent portion for that money. People can't say it is any more expensive to run a restaurant in Marin ... in a shopping mall ... than what it costs Yank Sing to run a restaurant on prime-time SF real estate.

          Anna was unintentionally funny when she wrote "I was delighted to find that they serve dim sum (all day in fact), and that the portions were such that a single diner could also enjoy a dim sum lunch."


          A single diner could probably polish off the entire dim sum menu alone and still not leave stuffed ... ok, I exaggerate ... slightly.

          The best ... best ... comment was from a Yelper who called it Har-money

          So ... any recent thoughts? Any incentive to loosen my grip on my wallet and give it another shot?

          1. re: rworange

            Too funny impressions of Harmony were similar to yours.

            But........I had not read that posting regarding Yet Wah. This is someplace I never contemplate visiting but my family & I had just finished the discussion about what to do on Xmas (we are also of the non-Xmas persuation) and we decided to head there and then a movie.

            I thought we were being so original! Damn!

            1. re: MSK

              >I had not read that posting regarding Yet Wah. This is someplace I never contemplate visiting but my family & I had just finished the discussion about what to do on Xmas (we are also of the non-Xmas persuation) and we decided to head there and then a movie.<

              I hope your experience at Yet Wah in San Rafael is better than my one and only visit there a few years ago. It was terminally mediocre at best. The mu shu pork was just terrible, and I remember how good it used to be at Yet Wah in the city a long time ago. I went with a Chinese friend and we both agreed that they're riding on their long-ago rep in the city.

              1. re: Mick Ruthven

                I wound up going to 99 Ranch the day before for lobster and picked up a whole bunch of frozen dim sum. For Xmas day, I broke out the old bamboo steamer and we had a Chinese Dim Sum party at the house instead.

                Sounds like I didn't miss much at Yet Wah except for someone else doing the dishes.

                We had fun.

            2. re: rworange

              While RW is absolutely right about the dim-sum at Harmony (i.e. unexceptional, small, and unconscionably expensive), they have a take-out lunch special for $7 of rice (white or brown, and they seem to be pretty liberal about subsituting fried or chow-mein)a meat and a veg. In particular there is a beef much like R&G's "signature beef" that I find myself craving often. Right now for instance. Too bad I'm home in North Beach instead of at work in Sausalito. (No, scratch that.)

          2. No Chinese community to speak of up there, so your choices will be limited. You're currently sitting in one of the hotbeds of Chinese influence with all of the Silicon Valley companies, so the difference will be like night and day for you. However the suggestion to drive to the Pacific East Mall, as well as a bunch of places on San Pablo Ave. in El Cerrito is a good one.

            1. Mountain View is not that great a place for Chinese food, but compared to Marin County, it's like Hong Kong. Like others have said, drive to El Ceritos for the closest 99 Ranch.