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Good Chinese Restaurant in China Town

a
AnnSF Mar 28, 2010 08:45 PM

I have guests coming in from out of town. They want to have chinese food in China Town. Whenever I've had a recommendation in the past the food has been mediocre / disappointing. Does anyone have a reliably good restaurant recommendation? Thanks!

  1. lexdevil Mar 28, 2010 08:50 PM

    Great Eastern, R & G Lounge, or Jai Yun (though it's spendy and may not be what they have in mind).

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    Jai Yun
    680 Clay St, San Francisco, CA 94111

    R & G Lounge
    631 Kearny St, San Francisco, CA 94108

    Great Eastern Restaurant
    649 Jackson St, San Francisco, CA 94133

    1 Reply
    1. re: lexdevil
      PeterL Mar 29, 2010 09:55 AM

      Just went to R&G last week and they are excellent, comparable and maybe even better than the ones in mid pennysula. Saturday it was very crowded, so make a reservation.

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      R & G Lounge
      631 Kearny St, San Francisco, CA 94108

    2. Chandavkl Mar 28, 2010 10:14 PM

      Good reason why you've struck out in Chinatown--a good part of the customer base is tourists and poorer residents. The best Chinese food is in the suburbs. I'll give the same three Chinatown recommendations--R&G, Great Eastern and Jai Yun, elaborating that the latter is quirky and serves an entirely different type of cuisine from the rest of Chinatown.

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      Jai Yun
      680 Clay St, San Francisco, CA 94111

      Great Eastern Restaurant
      649 Jackson St, San Francisco, CA 94133

      8 Replies
      1. re: Chandavkl
        myst Mar 29, 2010 06:46 AM

        If you are just coming in for lunch these are two options that have decent food. Louie's also does dim sum lunch (no carts - you check off what you want on a sheet). Great prices at both places too. Though I'm not a big fan of the pricey House of Nanking, it is cleaner and has a "nicer" ambiance for guests and seems to always be packed.

        R&G is my usual lunch spot near the office and it is decent and clean.

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        Louie's California Chinese
        646 Washington Street, San Francisco, CA 94111-2106

        Chung King
        606 Jackson St, San Francisco, CA 94133

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

        1. re: myst
          Chandavkl Mar 29, 2010 07:42 AM

          Unfortunately, House of Nanking is packed with European tourists, so the fact that they are so busy doesn't necessarily translate into good food.

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

          1. re: Chandavkl
            Robert Lauriston Mar 29, 2010 08:51 AM

            When I walked past last night, it was mostly American tourists in the long line. The place seems to do a good job of pleasing people who don't eat much Chinese food.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston
              myst Mar 29, 2010 02:25 PM

              I work in FIDI and can't avoid the occasional business lunch at House of Nanking. I find it to be clean and acceptable as long as you like sweet potatoes. I just think it is overpriced and not authentic; however, it seems to make tourist/vistors very happy (I hear people raving at other tables - especially about the sizzling rice soup!). I usually hit the whole in the wall places for $4 lunch specials, but I've worked in SF for 16 years.....

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

              1. re: myst
                Robert Lauriston Mar 29, 2010 07:30 PM

                It may not be as cheap as some holes in the wall, but it's by no means expensive. That's part of the reason for its popularity.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston
                  myst Mar 30, 2010 09:56 AM

                  I agree, I do eat there on occasion because some of my co-workers like it. I usually eat at the indian place next door.

            2. re: Chandavkl
              y
              yehfromthebay May 18, 2010 09:27 PM

              I'm not a fan of House of Nanking. It seems like they use the same sauce for all of the dishes. Their veggies and seafood seem to be pretty fresh, which is nice..

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

              1. re: yehfromthebay
                Tripeler May 19, 2010 02:05 AM

                I second this. Avoid House of Nanking at all costs. The time I went I was surprised at how bad the food was for a place that is so well known.

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

        2. wolfe Mar 29, 2010 07:01 AM

          Which recommended restaurants did you find mediocre / disappointing?

          1. Hughlipton Mar 29, 2010 09:52 AM

            Although I most likely will get blasted off the board for this one I would suggest the Empress of China for tourists who have never been to Chinatown. A bit expensive the food is a ntch above mediocre but the ambience and the view are great (haven't been there in about 4 years). Potstickers are good as is Phoenix and the Dragon. Good luck in your quest.

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            Empress of China
            838 Grant Ave Ste 5, San Francisco, CA 94108

            2 Replies
            1. re: Hughlipton
              Chandavkl Mar 29, 2010 09:59 AM

              Actually, you're spot on. If it's not about the food, then this is a great place to go.

              1. re: Hughlipton
                o
                OldTimer Mar 29, 2010 10:21 AM

                I have always recommended Empress of China to out-of-town visitors not familiar with Chinese food. The ambiance and the food is excellent. They have never been disappointed. Risky to try the more exotic places...many are disappointed. Say what you want, E of C has class.

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                Empress of China
                838 Grant Ave Ste 5, San Francisco, CA 94108

              2. m
                ML8000 Mar 29, 2010 12:30 PM

                Frankly I'd avoid House of Nanking. R&G has the best combo of interior and food. If hole-in-the-wall and terse serve aren't issues, check out Yuet Lee, great seafood.

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

                4 Replies
                1. re: ML8000
                  c
                  Cameron Mar 29, 2010 01:05 PM

                  I would definitely avoid Jai Yun.Way overpriced rude service,and get better food at a takeout joint.

                  1. re: Cameron
                    Robert Lauriston Mar 29, 2010 01:35 PM

                    The service at Jai Yun can be a bit odd, especially if the server doesn't speak English, but it's some of the best Shanghai-style food I've had, and the only place where you can get a banquet-style meal for a small group.

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                    Jai Yun
                    680 Clay St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston
                      myst Mar 29, 2010 02:30 PM

                      R&G definitely shows well, but I try to avoid it even at lunch. Portions are stingy and it is a bit boring. I'm spoiled by better hole in the wall joints..... but most of those I would not recommend to visitors as ambiance is severely lacking.

                      1. re: myst
                        s
                        sfbing Mar 30, 2010 10:55 AM

                        I'm confused--you just said that R&G is your usual lunch place...

                2. a_and_w Mar 30, 2010 11:22 AM

                  R&G or Z&Y. I was ecstatic to see Z&Y packed on a recent visit -- it's been half empty every other time I've gone. Chicken with explosive chili peppers was fabulous, though a little more oily than it's been on past visits.

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