Beijing Restaurant on Irving Street
I posted this on another thread, but just realized it might be more pertinent here:
I think the Irving street location is now open - I received a menu in my door today - free delivery, which is exciting as the delivery options in the outer sunset are not that great. Will report back if I try it, but I have high hopes as I really enjoyed the Ocean Ave restaurant the one time I tried it.
Also, they have a nice website with pictures that I wasn't aware of previously - www.beijingrestaurant.us
3925 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122
Mrs. Wineguy and I dropped in for a late lunch at the new Irving Street location of Beijing Restaurant yesterday, and we loved it. They’ve added some new dishes to the menu and we tried a couple of them as well as a couple of our favorite standbys.
We started with a new dish: the Spinach with Sesame Sauce appetizer, which is room temperature steamed (or boiled?) spinach topped with a thin sesame sauce. We loved it and I could eat it every day! Another new dish we tried is the Shredded Pancake Stir Fried with Pork. To me it seemed sort of like deconstructed Mushu Pork. The homemade pancake is shredded and stir fried with shredded pork, cabbage, carrot, and other vegetables. We loved it too!
We also enjoyed our usual, Fennel Dumplings as well as West Lake Lamb Dumplings.
Due to its proximity to my home, I am thrilled about the new location and hope that they can make it there. It’s a quiet neighborhood and I believe there isn’t that much lunch business.
The new location is closed on Tuesdays. Other days open 11AM-9:30PM.
I got delivery from there one night and was pleased. My only complaints were that the temperature of the food had gotten a bit cold, but that's to be expected with delivery. We ordered cumin beef, sesame spinach, and a house special pie I believe. The cumin beef was a little bland - I think we've had the cumin lamb at the other location in the past and really liked it, so perhaps it's just a preparation we like better with lamb. Still, the beef was tender. The sesame spinach was good. The real standout was the pie- this was still fairly warm, so perhaps it was cooked last. It had a lot of chinese chives and wasn't greasy. We had one other item, but I can't remember what it was other than it was really good....
I didn't go in, so I don't know what the restaurant itself looks like or what specials they have there....I have the takeout menu they stuck in my door though. It's for both the Irving and Alemany locations and advertises a Peking Duck for $38.95. It includes: Part A, House Made Duck Soup; Part B, Slice[d] Duck with hand made pancake (8 pancakes, including dipping sauce, cucumber shredded green onion); and Part C, Salt and Pepper Duck.
There's also a section on Hot Pot, with choices for types of soup, meats, veggies, and sauces. Not sure if that is new or anything.
I hope people try out the new location! I did drive by one night and it looked sadly empty, plus the location is removed from the other commercial activity on Judah.
Five hounds met for lunch today at the new Irving St. location. We ordered:
12) Spinach with Sesame Sauce
27) Sliced Fish With Preserved Vegetable in Warm Pot
50) Jiao Liu Meat Ball Beijing Style
53) Chef Special Chicken Wings
54) Hot Braised Beef Tendon
74) West Lake Lamb Dumpling
171) Winter Melon with Dry Shrimp
The chicken wings were my favorite new taste of the meal. The sweet caramelized coating was so thick and sticky that the bottom pieces, which had cooled a bit before we got to them, were stuck firmly to the plate. The coating was sweet enough to qualify as a dessert but went well with the savory chicken.
I really enjoyed the sliced fish warm pot but it did not rock me quite as much as my first experience at the Alemany location. The only thing I could definitely say was different was that there were far fewer of the wonderful mung bean cellophane noodles, and the noodles were not as wide as before.
When asked to describe the Jiao Liu Meat Balls our server mentioned black beans so we expected some of the typical black bean taste but that was not much evident in the final product. There were some black flecks in the meatballs that could have been black bean bits. The meat balls weren’t especially flavorful—not nearly as good as the excellent House Special Steam Meat Ball as served at the Alemany location (and also on the menu here at #34).
3925 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122
While we noted the Peking Duck option for $38.95, we decided to go to the regular menu. I liked the idea of House Made Duck Soup, Sliced Duck with hand made pancake and Salt and Pepper Duck. Perhaps we erred in the decision to opt out on this menu option. Hope someone tries it soon and reports back.
My favorites were the chicken wings and the spinach in sesame sauce.
I really enjoyed those chicken wings - obviously hot right out of the deep fryer crispy, glazed with that caramel - they were great!
The beef tendon could have been more tender (my left overs went into a small skillet w/ a bit of H2O and were just right in about 15 min).
While there was technically nothing wrong with the meatballs (IMHO) they needed more flavor - I think we all thought that there would be a black bean sauce component but sadly it was not to be.
In the freezing cold room, the warm pot was very welcome but the lack of those wide, flat mung bean noodles was a disappointment.
The location at 3925 Irving St. between 40th and 41st is somewhat desolate. I believe it will be difficult for them to survive as there is no foot traffic. We got there at opening time and the room was verging on the Arctic - they kept leaving the door open and it was very cold, even with multiple layers of clothing!
All in all, I believe that the original outpost at Alemany/Ocean is better and look forward to a visit soon to see if my faves are still as wonderful as they were on previous visits.
P.S. For whatever reason, today I don't seem to be able to get my pictures to cooperate...
P.S.S. The chunk of wood complete with requisite nails didn't seem to harm my tire after all :-)
When I last went to Ocean Ave location I did asked about Beijing Duck at their new location and was told that all they need was the oven to correctly cook the duck. i am so glad that they have solved that issue. I look forward to trying their duck. I did have a great one in Beijing a couple of weeks ago. I look forward to comparing it soon.
We went again today and had the house special hot chicken wings, the sliced pork with preserved vegetable warm pot, beijing vegetable pie, and three flavor vegetables. Everything was served piping hot and the chicken wings were a big hit. Definitely caramelly and crispy. I liked the vegetable pie as well as it was filled with chinese chives. The warm pot was good and had plenty of wide mung bean noodles. At dinner time, the room was also well heated, so definitely not cold. They were empty though, am really hoping they start seeing more traffic.
Went with two friends the other night. Had the following:
Fennel dumplings: excellent, really liked the dill/fennel flavoring in these
Shrimp/chive dumplings: very good
Some kind of meat pancake: good to very good, pretty greasy but tasty
zha jiang mian: didn't really care for this - it reminded me of my own not-so-great attempts at Chinese noodles in that the salty soy flavor really took over and the dish didn't feel well balanced. But I'm a ZJM newbie and maybe this is how it's supposed to taste?
Happy to return for more dumpling goodness and some of the less starchy offerings.