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Jan 25, 2011 02:15 PM

Louie's California Chinese Cuisine

Four or five years ago I attended my very first chowdown at Louie's California Chinese Cuisine. I remember enjoying myself very much, despite my incredible nervousness about meeting total strangers for a meal. The soup made the biggest impression, with a very light but flavorful broth, perfectly cooked seafood, served in a large bitter melon. Delicious.

I work at City College of San Francisco, and in today's weekly newsletter to all staff there was an article about the struggles of the owner of Louie's, due to the construction of the new Chinatown City College building right next door. The owner and chef, Guo Sheng Lei, is reportedly on the brink of bankruptcy. Apparently, some folks at City College are working on a New Year fundraiser buffet at the restaurant that will include a jiaozi dumpling making workshop on 1/31. If folks want more information about that, they should feel free to email me via the email listed on my profile. The buffet is a recommended donation of $25.

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

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  1. Here's an announcement with some details.

    The event is on Monday, 1/31. Dumpling making at 6pm and dinner at 7pm.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Melanie Wong

      Thanks for posting that Melanie. I wasn't sure if it was appropriate to put all the details in the post. Now no one needs to email me if they are interested. Much appreciated.

      1. re: jillyju

        It so sad for Louie's. There have been a few mixed reviews about Louie's food and service which I have read from afar. But I now have to rearrange my plans to see if I can attend this event.

      2. re: Melanie Wong

        Do we need to make reservations for this? I will be coming with two others. Look forward to seeing you. it's been a looong time.
        Thanks, Janice N.

        1. re: jnredsie

          Janice, do not know how reservations are being made but I will call the chef tomorrow and make you three as well as those who have returned my email on the sf chowhound board. I do not think Melanie can made this event.

            1. re: yimster

              I left a vm for wilma pang per the linked announcement for two yesterday. Hope that will suffice.

              1. re: mmerino

                I plan to call tomorrow and add some spaces. I think it will be fine to show up.

        2. I just send out a email to the sf chowhound group. To see who can join me.

          2 Replies
          1. re: yimster

            Count me in Lambert! Hope they have the smoked "Velvet" fish!!

            1. re: ChowFun_derek

              I do not think that the Smoked Sea Bass will on the buffet line. That dish is one that need to be served as soon as it comes out of the oven. Will not work well in the buffet line and it a petty high dish.

          2. How was the buffet? The dumpling workshop?

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

            3 Replies
            1. re: Melanie Wong

              I was hoping for a more hands-on approach to the dumpling class, but it was mostly watching. The woman making the dumplings was skilled and had a great folding technique. The drumming and dragon dancing on the beginning was a nice surprise. The buffet was not great with the exception on the dumplings. I felt like there was too much msg in the dumpling filling but they were still tasty.

              I signed up on a list to have the dumpling recipe emailed to me but have not received it. I enjoyed talking with fellow hounds and people interested in dumpling making.

              1. re: Candice

                Thanks to both of you for reporting back. Has anyone noticed whether Louie's is offering a special banquet for Chinese New Year?

              2. re: Melanie Wong

                The buffet was nothing to speak of. Just steam table food. As Candice said the dumpling were great. If she do not get the recipe I will get it from the woman next time I am in the city.

                The Lady was excellent in making the dumpling but lack the skill to teach it to a group.

              3. Closed? It looked dark when I went by. Telephone not disconnected but no answer either.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Chandavkl

                  My cousin read in a Chinese newspaper it closed but I have not followed up on that. Been out of town.