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Good Dim Sum in SF Chinatown?

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linda859 May 25, 2010 12:09 PM

I've been underwhelmed with the dim sum selection in SF Chinatown proper. I live within walking distance to Chinatown, so I'd like to be able to walk to dim sum on weekend mornings. My favorite so far is the Great Eastern at Jackson and Kearny. Does anyone have recommendations for a place that's better?

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

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  1. Ruth Lafler RE: linda859 May 25, 2010 12:30 PM

    Where else have you tried?

    5 Replies
    1. re: Ruth Lafler
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      linda859 RE: Ruth Lafler May 25, 2010 12:34 PM

      I've tried Yank Sing (too expensive), Gold Mountain (too greasy), and some smaller holes in the wall (also too greasy). I've heard there's better dim sum in the Richmond, but I really want to find a great place in Chinatown.

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      Gold Mountain Restaurant
      644 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133

      Yank Sing
      49 Stevenson St Ste Stlv, San Francisco, CA 94105

      1. re: linda859
        Ruth Lafler RE: linda859 May 25, 2010 12:38 PM

        You might want to try Louie's California Chinese (terrible name for a good restaurant) -- last time I heard they had a hotsy-totsy dim sum chef, but dim sum chefs come and go quickly.

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

        1. re: linda859
          Windy RE: linda859 May 25, 2010 12:40 PM

          Try City View on Commercial.

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          City View Restaurant
          662 Commercial St, San Francisco, CA 94111

          1. re: Windy
            l
            linda859 RE: Windy May 25, 2010 01:07 PM

            Thanks, I'll try both of these!

          2. re: linda859
            PorkButt RE: linda859 May 25, 2010 01:50 PM

            Which items do you find to be too greasy? I think Gold Mountain might be better than places like Yet Wah in the Richmond

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            Gold Mountain Restaurant
            644 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133

            Yet Wah Restaurant
            2140 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94121

        2. Mari RE: linda859 May 25, 2010 12:30 PM

          Have you read through this thread? Perhaps there are recommendations in here:
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6190...

          5 Replies
          1. re: Mari
            l
            linda859 RE: Mari May 25, 2010 12:37 PM

            yes, I read over this before posting. Most of the recommendations are in the Richmond. =(

            It's called "Chinatown!" No good dim sum?

            1. re: linda859
              s
              sfbing RE: linda859 May 25, 2010 12:51 PM

              Fancy dim sum requires a certain level of relatively affluent Cantonese people who are willing to eat at a place regularly. That has been missing in Chinatown since the earthquake, which made it more difficult for Cantonese people living in the burbs to go to Chinatown. Hence the better dim sum places are nowadays in the Richmond, Sunset, Millbrae or the East Bay with plentiful parking.

              Most of the people living in Chinatown today are living on extremely restricted budgets. For obvious reasons, they prefer cheaper places where the food is acceptable but not stellar. Or their children pick them up and drive them to Millbrae or the Richmond/Sunset (if they get carsick).

              You could try City View. Also...does Lychee Garden still have dim sum? It wasn't bad last time I tried it.

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              City View Restaurant
              662 Commercial St, San Francisco, CA 94111

              1. re: linda859
                Chandavkl RE: linda859 May 25, 2010 01:52 PM

                It's the demographics. In all North American cities with a core Chinatown and a suburban Chinatown, the core Chinatown food pales tremendously by comparison. Like San Francisco Chinatown, the food in Los Angeles Chinatown, New York Chinatown, Vancouver Chinatown and Toronto Chinatown is uniformly blah compared to the Chinese food away from Chinatown. The reason is that Chinatown is left to the tourists and poorer or older immigrants, while the Chinese middle and upper classes congregate away from Chinatown, so that's where the good stuff is. Sorry, but that's the way it is.

                1. re: Chandavkl
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                  wally RE: Chandavkl May 25, 2010 03:35 PM

                  40 years ago when I was living in the Richmond, people were calling it the "new" Chinatown.

                  1. re: wally
                    Chandavkl RE: wally May 25, 2010 04:16 PM

                    Yes, some of the "new" Chinatowns are suburban, while others are urban, but away from the city center. The Richmond district and Flushing, NY would be urban non-core Chinatowns, while the San Gabriel Valley would be a suburban one.

            2. wolfe RE: linda859 May 25, 2010 01:08 PM

              Wolfe the cheap wants to know what is going on at Y Ben House which had been mentioned a few times on this board,

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              Y Ben House Restaurant
              835 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

              9 Replies
              1. re: wolfe
                yimster RE: wolfe May 25, 2010 01:52 PM

                It is cheap, noiisey, greasy and crowded. Also not too good.

                Last year when dim sum was on my diet I had some at Asia Garden on Pacific and it was good for being Chinatown.

                But not good when compare with the good ones outside of the City limits. Check out charliemyboy's post on his dim sum crawl. Which I have stop reading so that I do not go off my health kick. Saving my points foir Richmond in BC,

                1. re: wolfe
                  Ruth Lafler RE: wolfe May 25, 2010 01:54 PM

                  The only person who really liked Y Ben House was Xiao Yang (aka Gary Soup), and he's gone missing (seems to be posting mostly on the NY and China boards).

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                  Y Ben House Restaurant
                  835 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

                  1. re: Ruth Lafler
                    yimster RE: Ruth Lafler May 25, 2010 02:03 PM

                    Yeah, I miss Xiao Yang (aka Gary Soup) telling me I not Chinese enough. Hope he has found his Shanghai heaven.

                    1. re: yimster
                      wolfe RE: yimster May 25, 2010 02:20 PM

                      Loved his blog.
                      http://eatingchinese.blogspot.com/

                      1. re: wolfe
                        Ruth Lafler RE: wolfe May 25, 2010 02:35 PM

                        As far as I know, there's no reason to use the past tense!

                        1. re: Ruth Lafler
                          wolfe RE: Ruth Lafler May 25, 2010 03:16 PM

                          Ah yes now that I posted his current one. My first link was to the old old and I became aware of the more recent changed the link and not the tense.
                          http://garysoup.com/eating/

                      2. re: yimster
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                        wally RE: yimster May 25, 2010 03:37 PM

                        He is Garysoup on Twitter.

                        1. re: yimster
                          vincentlo RE: yimster May 25, 2010 06:35 PM

                          Haha I remember Gary and I had a mildly heated discussion here about whether Yank Sing was authentic or not. I said as natives from Hong Kong, I would still go to Yank Sing with my sister, with the understanding that the tab would be sky high. In short, I don't think it's right to say Yank Sing is unauthentic. I did go to Y Ben House by myself (with tons of tupperware for leftovers) to see what was so special about that place (according to Gary). It really wasn't anything special, and while prices were low, they weren't *that* low.

                          -----
                          Y Ben House Restaurant
                          835 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

                          Yank Sing
                          49 Stevenson St Ste Stlv, San Francisco, CA 94105

                          1. re: vincentlo
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                            walker RE: vincentlo May 26, 2010 05:53 PM

                            3 of us were at Yank Sing Monday and it was delicious, as usual. Had all my favorites but forgot to get the pea shoot dumplings. Bill was $91 including tea, tax but before tip. I don't think that's so bad for 3 people. I have never had a bad meal there and I've been going there since it was on Battery Street.

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                            Yank Sing
                            49 Stevenson St Ste Stlv, San Francisco, CA 94105

                    2. grayelf RE: linda859 May 26, 2010 09:19 AM

                      As Chandavkl noted, the Vancouver Chinatown is not where "the good stuff" is anymore. FWIW, we liked Dol Ho both times we went. It seems kind of old school in a good way to me despite the lack of carts, it wasn't greasy and it was very reasonable. I understand they do a killer hot sauce you can buy to go as well. I read about a couple of special dishes that get love on this board too: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4112...

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                      Dol Ho
                      808 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: grayelf
                        Cynsa RE: grayelf May 26, 2010 06:56 PM

                        the sparerib on rice is still my fave at Dol Ho; it seems that no matter what we ordered, or how much - it was still only $5 per person for everything

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                        Dol Ho
                        808 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

                      2. cosmogrrl RE: linda859 May 26, 2010 12:18 PM

                        Try Hang Ah Tearoom. No carts but good food. It's my favorite in the area. Not too expensive either. The fact that yr items are made fresh makes it better IMHO

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                        Hang Ah Restaurant
                        2130 Armory Dr, Santa Rosa, CA 95401

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: cosmogrrl
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                          OldTimer RE: cosmogrrl May 26, 2010 08:25 PM

                          OMG...is Hang Ah still there? It was my first dim sum 50 years ago, and was my all time favorite. My wife was a Chinese friends guest who ordered duck feet, and she wouldn;t go back. Later, we found that a close family friend's uncle was the dim sum cook, and every new year's I would pick his brains. One of the great "authentic" places.

                          1. re: OldTimer
                            cosmogrrl RE: OldTimer May 26, 2010 09:08 PM

                            New owners now, I think. A couple of families own it now I think, I've seen them eat together in the restaurant a few times. But i like it! Nothing fancy, but I like their dumplings, their turnip cakes, and the little riblets things (can't remeber the name) so delicious and a lovely delicate flavor. Still has some "original" decor; ancient dioramas and Miss Chinatown posters from 40-60 years ago. Close to my house, like the food, and service is acceptable, not slow, and the food is made to order. Good prices too.

                            They do get a fair amount of tourists, but it's chinatown, so it's par for the course.

                            1. re: cosmogrrl
                              grayelf RE: cosmogrrl Jun 9, 2010 10:32 AM

                              cosmogrrl, the link that CH provides to Hang Ah is in Santa Rosa, which I presume is not the one you like in SF Chinatown :-). Do you have an address handy for the one in SF?

                              Oops, never mind, answered my own question by searching a different way: http://www.chow.com/restaurants/16585...

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                              Hang Ah Tea Room
                              1 Pagoda Pl, San Francisco, CA

                              1. re: grayelf
                                Melanie Wong RE: grayelf Jun 9, 2010 10:46 AM

                                You can add a link from the database manually from the Restaurants and Bars database by clicking on "Manage Your Links" when you reply. Autolinking searches for an exact name match for capitalized words and will exclude "restaurant" or "cafe" in the name. You'll note that the location is SF is called Hang Ah Tea Room whereas the one in Santa Rosa is Hang Ah Restaurant, so autolink found the Santa Rosa one and not SF as a match to "Hang Ah".

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                                Hang Ah Tea Room
                                1 Pagoda Pl, San Francisco, CA

                                1. re: Melanie Wong
                                  grayelf RE: Melanie Wong Jun 9, 2010 11:00 AM

                                  Since the dbase didn't pick up cosmogrrl's first mention of the full name in her earlier May 26 post, I incorrectly assumed the Tearoom was not in the database. I should have done the manual add when I realized it was indeed there, and I've corrected that. Ah, the joys of CH!

                        2. bbulkow RE: terrysl Apr 20, 2014 09:27 PM

                          Come to the south bay and get Late Night Dim Sum in Mt View. Fu Lam Mum. Reduced prices from 9pm to midnight, and the place is always hopping on the late side (hong kong style).

                          1. Chandavkl RE: linda859 Apr 20, 2014 09:00 PM

                            Since this thread has been exhumed we should update it for the subsequent opening of Lai Hong Lounge which is clearly Chinatown's best dim sum these days. Opens at 10 am weekdays (9 am weekends), and when we went on a Friday it was full up by 10:45am. And if you missed the first seating, it's a while before spots from that seating open up.

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