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Best source for Orange Beef?

Hi all,

I was recently reminded of the great orange beef dish I had at my local Chinese restaurant growing up on the East Coast. Unfortunately, I had a disappointing attempt at one last night. I'd love to find a great reliable source for Orange Beef in the Bay area, preferably in San Francisco or on the Peninsula, as I don't make it over to the East Bay too much. I prefer the beef nice and crispy with plenty of sauce to go with rice.

Thanks!

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  1. I have some places in the East Bay, but that's not in the direction you wanted.. Perhaps other Chauhounds might know of better.

    1. Try Empero Taste on Balboa (used to be called Best Panda, same chef). I like the orange chicken, very generous portion. Maybe not "crispy." Perhaps if you requested it crispy they could do so.

      Oh, I miss read -- I've only had the orange chicken. They probably have orange beef on the menu.

      Believe it or not, I just had some great Mongolian Beef (nice and crispy) at P.F. Change in Corte Madera.

      1. Jai Yun makes the best I've tasted anywhere. But it's not available ala carte.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Melanie Wong

          I agree with Melanie, you must give Jai Yun a try. The Orange Beef is the best. Not much sauce for your rice, but extremely flavorful. I think of it often.

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            jai yun...

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            Jai Yun
            680 Clay St, San Francisco, CA 94111

          2. Yes, I remember it 'crispy' as well...almost carmelized/crispy because of the sugars used to create this dish (at least t a number of places in NY)...I have yet to find a similar preparation here in SF...but I keep plugging away to do so!
            I look forward to any responses...but remember..."delivery food" of any 'fried' things..turn mushy after steaming in the delivery carton...so "eat in" is the only way to go ...

            1. Not having tried orange beef at many other places, I do like orange peel beef at Jing Jing in Palo Alto.

              1. Jing Jing in Palo Alto makes a great, saucy version of this dish. Check it out here:
                http://www.jingjinggourmet.com/2005/d...

                1. I like the one at Abacus, give it a try.

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                  Abacus
                  2078 Hayes Street, San Francisco, CA 94117

                  1. Chowhounds hate this place (I think because it's California Chinese instead of authentic Chinese) but here goes...

                    Eric's in Noe Valley has a great orange beef dish. That was my first favorite dish there. Their sesame beef is equally good if not better. Both use beef that is dry fried or something like that. The orange beef doesn't have a gloopy sauce (thankfully) but has a nice flavor and little bits of orange peel.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: katya

                      I did a search on this board and did not find any that hates this place. How did you come to this conclusion? Did you have a really bad personal experience there? Interestingly enough, I always consider Eric, Alice, Eliza and Abacus belong to the same category of California Chinese restaurants. Here is one that likes Abacus --

                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/456130

                      1. re: kuri

                        I just did a search over the past year's comments and it seems like votes are split on Eric's. I definitely remember when I joined the Chowhound boards in 2001 that there were a lot of disparaging comments about Eric's, mostly about it being unauthentic.

                        I've always had really good experiences at Eric's. It's still my favorite place for Chinese food.

                    2. The original poster requested "CRISPY" Orange Beef...however not one person has mentioned this adjective!
                      People...Are your suggestions "Crispy", or just your favorite versions of this dish? Please specify!

                      Thanks

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: ChowFun_derek

                        That's why I suggested Jai Yun's. It's crispy and coated with just a little bit of sauce that has a bit of a spicy kick to it.

                        1. re: Melanie Wong

                          I don't remember orange chicken when we went there at the old place...is he still just doing priced multi courses, or can you choose what individual dishes to order like your average restaurant?

                        2. re: ChowFun_derek

                          It's a pretty common dish, and in New York, it does often come with a thin coating of gloopy sauce. It's just a case of finding a reliable Chinese place, for California style Chinese. I think the Eric's, Eliza suggestions are good.... I think I've had a good version at Brandy Ho's years ago. These would all have it crispy. I seem to recall Burma Superstar having it on the menu, does anyone know if that's the case?

                        3. One to stay away from is the version at Hunan Home's (sic) in Los Altos. Even more disappointing considering that I pointedly asked our waiter if it was Americanized or an authentic Hunan or Sichuan version, and he said that it the real thing.

                          Tried it last week. Disgusting, more breading than meat, could not tell what kind of meat was under all that batter, inedible deep-fried slices of orange peel, floury tasting, and blandish sauce.

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                          Hunan Home
                          4880 El Camino Real, Los Altos, CA 94022

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: Melanie Wong

                            I just went back to my local Chinese "Red Jade" after it being reviewed on "Check Please Bay Area" hoping beyond hope that it had somehow changed...morphed...gotten a different chef.....I had their pot stickers (poorly made, grossly thick skin, mushy tasteless filling...one of the worst representation of pot stickers I have ever had!) ...but I also tried their Orange Beef" which was a poor reflection of "Panda"'s version(!!!) ...sweet , thin orange sauce tough turds of meat, no dried orange/tangerine peel and no peppers to balance the sweetness ...just a couple of bits of fresh orange rounded this out. Red Jade is on Church St. off Market...it truly is as bad as it's always been....nice people and pleasant space though...

                            1. re: ChowFun_derek

                              I recently had the best Orange Beef at a random place called Uncle Yu's in Livermore. I went there for a wedding rehearsal lunch not expecting much but was very pleasantly surprised. The Orange Beef is different than other places because they have an extra light yet crispy texture. It was the best Orange Beef I've ever had.

                              The restaurant overall is pretty good, yet kind of pricey for Chinese food. But it has great ambiance, kind of like PF Chang's but better.

                              1. re: calalilly

                                First off, let me thank you for the Peking duck rec at Five Happiness. Enjoyed it very much.

                                Uncle Yu's has three locations. i've heard good things about the one in San Ramon.
                                http://www.uncleyu.com/locations.html

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                                Uncle Yu's
                                39 S. Livermore Avenue, Livermore, CA 94550

                                1. re: Melanie Wong

                                  =) I read about your dinner there, sounded really good.

                          2. Thanks everyone. I have yet to have any orange beef dishes, but will add the restaurants to my growing list of "to try" places.

                            1. Took relatives there on Monday. Had the beef chow fun with "exo sauce" which was excellent. Does anyone know what exo sauce is? Can't seem to find a recipe anywhere. Thanks

                              3 Replies
                                1. re: Ronald Wong

                                  Which restaurant did you take relatives "there"?

                                  1. re: walker

                                    Empero Taste.

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                                    Empero Taste
                                    4052 Balboa St, San Francisco, CA 94121