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Red Jade review

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I'd like to know what other hounds think of the food at Red Jade (245 Church St., SF). It was recently reviewed on Check Please! Bay Area and received high marks but just looking at the food shown on t.v. and reading their menu, the dishes seem ordinary and more American Chinese than authentic Chinese. What is special about their food that I should make a trip to try it?

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  1. My friend saw the show too and has organized a group of about 8 for dinner there Sat. 4/18. I would be hesitant about doing that before someone we know has tried it, but I really like my friend and she is hell bent on doing it, sight unseen.

    YELP reviews are _very_ mixed.

    Anxiously awaiting CHOW comments.

    1. Link with old comments.

      -----
      Red Jade
      245 Church St, San Francisco, CA 94114

      1. Considering the location and the type of people they have on Check Please! I'm betting it falls into the Eric's/Alice's category: American-Chinese food done in a lighter (less oily, less MSG) style. All the positive reviews on Yelp seem to be from people who ordered the Crab Rangoon and General Tso's chicken. 'Nuff said.

        9 Replies
        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          It is not even as good as Eric's or Alice...I have found the food to be totally mediocre...pleasant place...nice people and thick skinned sesame balls with the bill.

          1. re: Ruth Lafler

            Red Jade is in the category of "neighborhood chinese place" with a lot of the
            "friendly standards". However in that category I think there are places which
            are decent and I think Red Jade ... and maybe that Jasmine Tea house or what
            ever it is called down on Lower Mission ... are OK. You get a decent amount of
            food at a fair price ... there are misses on the menu, but if you can discover what
            they do well, I think you will find something.

            I've had some decent soup at RJ, I liked the green ongion pancake with chilli sauce,
            I had some crab special there a few years ago which was really good, but I forgot
            the details beyond "yum!".

            I will not go to Eric's because they have mildly to seriously obnoxious service, IMHO.
            I thought Alice's had poor price-performance.

            RJ isnt my first choice of where to drive to for chinese, but if i need to meet
            people in that part of town and you are looking for a place where you can get
            a table without too much fuss and the food needs to be acceptible to 6 people
            with different tastes, i'd be happy to go here.

            1. re: psb

              is Check Please that "citizen review" show with that Clown Woman as host?
              Can we have a cage match between her and Meredith Brody ... the winner
              gets to gnaw on a marrow bone and a half bottle of Two Buck Chuck?

              1. re: psb

                clown woman - good description

              2. re: psb

                I made it to Red Jade on the President's Day holiday. Yes, this was based on the Check Please program. Normally, we would have gone to the Sunset or Richmond District for Chinese. I'm Asian and was basically raised on Chinese food. We had three appetizers. Fried Crab Meat Rangoon and House Special Dim Sum were OK. They were enjoyable but nothing really outstanding. I did love the Green Onion Pancake and sauce. It was nicely crisp and flaky. I enjoyed it very much.

                We ordered three dishes: A Happy Family special (Prawns & honey walnuts), Seafood Combination with Bird's Nest special and the Mango Ostrich. The Seafood dishes were fresh, good and served with fruit. The Mango Ostrich was great. I enjoyed the flavors. The ostrich tasted like very tender beef. These days I am trying to find alternatives to beef.

                There were three of us (included my mom) for lunch. The restaurant was full with a mix of locals and yes, there were other Asians also eating there. Service was great and attentive (better than our usual places). Overall, it was an enjoyable experience. Parking was OK. We got a space across the street. If I'm in this area, I would consider this a good choice. Fresh, Fast, Attentive and good food for the price.

                -----
                Red Jade
                245 Church St, San Francisco, CA 94114

                1. re: healthwisefoodiegirl

                  Hey, welcome to Chowhound. I hope you post more.

                  I'm not just asking you, but anyone else. Is crab rangoon based on anything in Chinese food. I thought it was a made up dish by Trader Viks or someone. I ask this since you mention being Asian I don't know a lot about Chinese food, but I've been surprised that some dishes I thought were just made up to make non-Asians happy are legit ... such as sweet and sour pork

                  1. re: rworange

                    Crab Rangoon is a made-up dish -- the dead giveaway being that it includes cream cheese. Sweet and sour pork is (very) loosely based on a Chinese dish (Peking porkchops).

                    1. re: rworange

                      Sweet and Sour Pork is a traditional Cantonese dish (咕嚕肉). You are right that many of your familiar American Chinese dishes are based (albeit loosely) on actual dishes from the old country. General Tso's, Orange Beef, etc; mostly from southern China where the early Chinese immigrant came. Except for baby corn, I don't know what that's about.........

                    2. re: healthwisefoodiegirl

                      note: the "crab special" i had was not crab rangoon. it was something not
                      on the written menu. i think it was something like a battered and fried soft shell
                      crab, but i dont remember. i do remember the real chinese person i was there
                      with was fighting me for bits and pieces and had an advantage due to her mad
                      chopstick chops. so i dont know if it was an authentic dish, but an authentic
                      chinese person liked it. i personally dont really care about authenticity unless i
                      am in "i'd like to try ingredient X or dish Y" mode ... and certainly red jade
                      is not where i'd go looking for some regional special.

                      i think crab rangoon is basically an asian sounding bar snack, i.e. "throw
                      fat at the problem". i'm surprised nobody has offered up bacon crab rangoon.

                      ok tnx.

                2. Went to Red Jade with my mom based on the Check Please episode. I live in the Mission (and I'm Chinese), so I figured I should explore all avenues, no matter how unpromising. Sadly, it wasn't very good. We ordered the onion cake and the texture was all wrong. Rather than being light and flaky and multi-layered, there was a thick, greasy, doughy center.

                  The other dishes we ordered were bitter melon with beef, which tasted mostly of soy. The preparation was heavy-handed and one-dimensional. Kung pao ostrich was similarly disappointing. The sesame ball we got at the end of the meal was pretty tasty. Sadly, I think I'll still have to drive out to Richmond and Sunset when I'm craving Chinese food. Which is pretty much always. Just writing this recap made me want some. Sigh.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: possumspice

                    Thanks for the report, I admire your spirit. Have you had a chance to explore the Chinese restaurants in the Portola along San Bruno Ave.? They might be a little closer than the Richmond or Sunset.

                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                      I live at 16th and Mission, and looking at a map, Portola appears to be about a wash with Inner Sunset. Is there a particular gem among the restaurants there? Thanks for the idea!

                      1. re: possumspice

                        Not that close to 16th, thought your location might be closer to CChavez. But if you're driving, you can take 101 to the Portola district and get there faster than the Inner Sunset. In any case, this area is an up and coming Chinatown and prices are comparable to the Sunset, that is, low and even more downscale. I haven't been there for over a year, so I imagine a lot has changed as it was under going quite a bit of Chinese incursion at that time. With the closure of Zone 88, there's not really a spot that I can recommend with a lot of confidence. I liked the roast pig at Wing HIng, and you can get value dim sum at Imperial Seafood. Mostly I'd suggest it as an area that is ripe for further exploration. If you visit the Alemany farmers market on Saturday, it's just another hop to San Bruno Ave., which is when i've tended to go there. Some threads for San Bruno Ave:
                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/390119
                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/456483
                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/354911

                        I've thought of another place closer to you, Hunan Garden on Market St. Years since i've been there and not a destination by any means, but might be a candidate for your neighborhood eats. I'll bump my old post to see if we can get an update.

                        -----
                        Hunan Garden
                        1819 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94103

                  2. Red Jade is average. Good spot if you're hungry and the wait is too long at Chow.

                    1. 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.....(no such luck) 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. We ate there last night with 6 friends. Bad start - we had reservations for 7:00PM, and when we arrived they said that someone had called and changed it to 8:00PM. It was crowded with a few people waiting, and we knew that the time had not been changed. We kept telling them it was changed to 8 people at 7:00PM, not 8 people at 8:00PM. So, after a 10 minute wait, they put together our table. A little uncertainty, but they made right.

                        After that it went smoothly. The renowned onion pancakes were too thick and undercooked inside for my taste and the pot stickers skin was too thick, bordered on doughy, and the filling was non-descript.

                        The rest of the food was good to very good. We had shrimp with porccini mushrooms, fried calamari (very crisp) and excellent, tomato beef chowmein (my husband's test for Chinese restaurants) which was OK, more spaghetti type noodles than meat, Mongolian Beef, very good, made with red bell pepper rather than green, shrimp fried rice, mushu pork, very good, served with thin pancakes, not tortillas. $85 plus tip for 7 people. The ending sesame ball was too thick for my taste.

                        Would we eat there again - yes, good service, large portions at reasonable prices. Not the best in town, but basically a nice meal, good for smaller groups. We will try delivery as we are in their area.

                        1. Just saw a re-run of Check Please and wanted to check it out on Chowhound.

                          It sounds skippable, but I was updating the restaurant record and looking at the menu.

                          There is ostrich on the menu.
                          http://redjadesf.com/menu.htm

                          Is this some sort of Chinese euphamism like lobster sauce? Or do they really serve ostrich. If yes, why? Has anyone tried it?

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: rworange

                            Apparently the hard part is finding the right wine to go with it.;-)
                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/2463...

                            1. re: rworange

                              Ostrich is available at the butcher shops on Stockton St in Chinatown. The ostrich with mango dish was on Eliza's menu for ages, and I suspect that other wannabes copied it.

                              1. re: Melanie Wong

                                Jasmine Tea House on MIssion (not too far from either Red Jade or Eliza's) also has ostrich on the menu. I haven't tried it.

                              2. re: rworange

                                Generally, Chinese cuisine just likes to try new things, particularly protein sources. If you give a mystery animal like ostrich to a chinese cook, the typical reaction is, "Hmm, I wonder what it tastes like?" rather than "Ick! What the heck is that?"

                                I've had ostrich at fancypants dim sum restaurants in Vancouver. It is rather like beef, but more tender despite being very lean. Which may help to explain its potential appeal. (Personally, I thought it was just ok. I found the leanness a bit of a turnoff.)

                              3. Had an awful experience here. The food was subpar to say the least. The service was awful and very rude. Do not go by the review on Check Please Bay Area - we tried what was suggested by the woman who recommended it on the show and were sadly disappointed by each item. The "pancakes" were soggy, dripping of grease and doughy - not at all light, airy and flaky. The chicken tasted frozen - like it was purchased pre-cooked at Costco and flash fried - not fresh at all. All flavors were generally bland and seems like much MSG was used.

                                -----
                                Red Jade
                                245 Church St, San Francisco, CA 94114

                                1. I can't help but wonder if the Check Please reviewer (the Chinese opera singer) and her parents didn't get preferential treatment/special cooking because they were Chinese. Not to say that Red Jade would do that with every Chinese customer, but I can easily imagine a scenario in which the three of them chatted up the staff/manager/owner in Chinese a bit before dinner, and developed a rapport with them. That might explain why her experience was so good, while other Chinese Chowhounds' have been so bleh.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: dump123456789

                                    acme burgerhaus serves ostrich too