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Chinatown Resto Near American Zoetrope Building

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I was last in SF about 5 years ago and I can't remember the name of an amazing little Chinese resto I visited. I remember it being near the American Zoetrope building (Kearny & Columbus). There was a line before they opened, so I imagine it's pretty popular. I also have a vague recollection that the name had something to do with the name of a city, but don't quote me on that!

I hope this is enough for SF hounds to help! Cheers!

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  1. I'm afraid you might be talking about the House of Nanking.

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    House of Nanking
    919 Kearny St, San Francisco, CA 94133

    4 Replies
    1. re: wolfe

      The "I'm afraid" part has me afraid... lol! I'll guess have to check out what others have to say, per the post below. At the very least, another mystery can be put to bed! Thanks!

      1. re: perfectofood

        It is probably one of the most controversial restaurants in Chinatown.

        1. re: wolfe

          Well, I've got to say, I love that I've stumbled upon a local controversy! I look forward to reading what people have to say!

          And so appropriate: The reason I originally visited was because of a recommendation given to me and my ex on our wedding night. The marriage was very short-lived, and the divorce is controversial to this day (5 years later!)

        2. re: perfectofood

          House of Nanking hasn't changed in the past ten years, so if you liked it before, you'll probably like it again.

      2. You're probably talking about House of Nanking -- lots of opinions on that place here.

        5 Replies
        1. re: kc72

          Lots of opinions? I thought almost everybody on the board hates it. While it is the most consistently busy restaurant in Chinatown it's merely the Chinatown equivalent of Stinking Rose on the other side of Broadway, i.e., people waiting in line for an inordinate period of time for no logical reason at all.

          1. re: Chandavkl

            It has a lot of regulars who return because they like the food.

            Most of the people who hate it ate there once, if that. It's sort of like Yank Sing or Ton Kiang, people who don't eat there really, really don't want anyone else to eat there, either.

            To repeat some of my past comments, order the right dishes and you can eat well--squid, asparagus, seasonal vegetables are safe choices, see Patricia Unterman's "Food Lover's Guide" for more recommendations. Check with your waiter to make sure you're not ordering more than one dish with sweet potatoes.

            This piece gives a good sense of the place's eccentricities:

            http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article...

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              But are those dishes any better than at other restaurants nearby where you don't have to stand in line? If not, then why stand in line -- for the "eccentricities"?

              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                Peter Fang makes some original dishes and personal variations on of Shanghai classics that you won't find elsewhere.

                I'm not big on standing in line, but I do occasionally get a craving for these half-steamed / half-fried pork buns he makes or used to make. I'm not sure they were ever on the menu.

              2. re: Robert Lauriston

                I haven't been there in several years, but there was e a deep-fried tofu appetizer with peanut sauce that was possibly the best fried tofu I've ever had. I don't think it was on the menu.

          2. If you like HON, then you will like a new restaurant by Peter Fang called Fang. It is larger, more upscale looking and you probably don't need to stand in line. Not in Chinatown but near Moscone Center. Here's my report which addresses some of the reasons I was not a HON fan
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/655282

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            Fang
            660 Howard St, San Francisco, CA 94105