ISO: great Asian restaurants in SF for the family (+kids)
I have relatives coming from Montana for a week in March. It will be their first time visiting SF, and they are super excited to get ethnic food that they can't get at home. They want to have: Thai, Vietnamese/Laotian, Cambodian, and Indian food (maybe Indonesian?).
So, I'm looking for great places to go midweek (Tues-Friday) that are kid-friendly (2 year old) and also have a a bar/liquor license (not critical but would be nice). I've thought of Burma Superstar and other spots on Clement street, Angkor Wat (but haven't been there recently), but now that I live in the east bay, I'm at a loss for other places. Actually if you have east bay recommendations, I'd love to hear them too!
where would you take your relatives for great Asian food in SF?
Worth crossing the Bay Bridge for: there's nothing in the East Bay quite like Lers Ros Thai on Larkin. Nothing like Slanted Door either, for better or worse -- but if you like quality booze with your Asian food, it's worth paying the premium for.
Agree with preferring the Oakland Burma Superstar to the SF one -- not much of a wait at the former. The homey Green Papaya and the imperfect but lively Vik's as mentioned (note Vik's recent change of location). For Indonesian, Jayakarta in Berkeley -- try something with stinky beans. One or other of the Udupi Palaces for South Indian.
The Yet Wah is a restaurant well worth visiting. There potstickers may be about the best I've had in San Francisco and they also are one of the few restaurants left, that I know of, that still serves a great sweet and sour almond (pressed) duck. Seafood is exceptionally good. It's not exactly the center of town but well worth the drive out to the avenues and you don't have to go over the bridge.
Yet Wah Restaurant
2140 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94121
Others will give plenty of suggestions for SF, I'm sure, but in the East Bay, by far the best Thai restaurant is Chai Thai (on International), and it's arguably as good as anything you'll find in San Francisco.
For Laotian, you can't beat Champa Garden, also in Oakland (surprisingly good beer and wine options here as well). For Indian, I think Vik's in Berkeley would be fun for kids for a midweek lunch, and Indus Village (Pakistani) is also great.
You didn't mention Korean, but that's definitely one of Oakland's strong suits. My favorite spot is Sura, but you might also consider Ohgane and the Pyung Chang Tofu House.
All of these are reasonably kid friendly, I think, though at the Thai and Korean places you might want to ask them to go a bit easier on the spice level for certain dishes.
The Burma Superstar in Oakland is a lot easier to get a table at than the one in the city, but I know folks on this board like other Burmese places better -- I haven't been to the other ones, so others can chime in.
3915 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94611
2102 8th Ave, Oakland, CA 94606
4869 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609
Indus Village Restaurant
1920 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702
Pyung Chang Tofu House
4701 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609
Chai Thai Noodles
545 B International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94606
4721 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA
I agree. I wouldn't pick SF over the East Bay for Asian food unless I was going to be there anyway, or wanted something particularly high end. There's more than enough good Asian food to keep you eating happily for four days in the East Bay!
In addition to 'poet's recs, you could try East Ocean in Alameda (not Hong Kong East Ocean in Emeryville) for dim sum -- they serve dim sum every day, although during the week I think they only have menus, not carts.
Battambang on Broadway for Cambodian
Great China in Berkeley for Peking duck
I don't have a favorite place for Vietnamese in Oakland, but Pho Ao Sen on International is good for pho (what else?).
Note that Champa Garden is on restaurant.com, which is currently having an 80 percent off promotion (promo code SAVOR).
If you are going to be in the City anyway, you should let us know when you'll be where. Don't forget that Chinatown is fun for tourists and there is good food to be had there, if you know where to look, or just graze through the bakeries and takeout shops.
re: Ruth Lafler
Yup. When we went there the Xmas my niece was three she was entranced by the fish tanks and the big dragon on the back wall. I even scored a table next to the fish tanks one morning for dim sum. You could probably request a table near the fish tanks -- since the kitchen doors are also right there it's the best place to nab stuff right off the carts during cart service, too.