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Dim Sum at night in chinatown

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  • lmbgm Apr 18, 2011 06:59 AM
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I lived in the bay area when I was young and moved to the east coast and this is my first time back, I am staying down in san jose and will be busy during the day until 5pm. I'd like to drive up to SF a few nights to see the city, alcatraz, etc. I'd like to grab dinner in chinatown, especially some dim sum but I know that is normally a brunch type of thing. Are there any places that serve it at night too that you would recc? perhaps a good buffet (although that can be rare)? Or should I stick to a restaurant? Also, it would be nice if there are some shops, chinese groceries within walking distance so I can have something to do after. I will be driving up so it would also be nice if it was near some decent parking (although I know that can be tough too).

Oh and if anyone has suggestions for some must eat/see places in san jose or SF, I'm open to suggestions. I don't like seafood much. I'd like to keep the meal under $30-$40 but am more concerned about a good meal rather than ambiance. Infact a less fancy place is probably preferred since I will be eating alone. I plan to just find something on tripadvisor.

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  1. Not in SF, but I saw a sign at Legendary Palace (Oakland) that said they're now serving dim sum in the evenings - 5-10pm?

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    Legendary Palace
    708 Franklin St, Oakland, CA 94607

    3 Replies
    1. re: Cindy

      Hmm, what about a buffet that serves dim sum? Anything like that in china town that's good? Or just any good chinese buffet in chinatown?

      Are there any good places to walk around with chinese groceries and shops?

      1. re: lmbgm

        No buffets in Chinatown except for the horrid Dick Lee Pastry buffet. It's something like $5.99, which gives you a clue as to the quality. Best place for walking to buy Chinese groceries and other foodstuffs is the stretch of Stockton St., south of Broadway. Really good Chinese restaurants in Cupertino--that might be the most convenient for you.

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        Dick Lee Pastry Shop
        716 Jackson St, San Francisco, CA

        1. re: Chandavkl

          The grocery stores, butchers, etc. on Stockton St. pretty much close up by dinnertime.

    2. Re parking, there's a reasonably priced (during non-business hours) garage next to the police station on Vallejo. No info re nighttime dim sum.

      1. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/507867

        1. A couple of notes since it sounds like this trip has personal significance for you:

          Chinatown in San Francisco isn't where you'll find the best dim sum or the most lively night time scene. Of course you still want to go and walk around, but keep in mind there's very good Chinese food in and around San Jose and elsewhere in the city.

          For an earlier meal, you might visit the shopping center where Joy Luck and Ranch 99 are, on the Cupertino-Sunnyvale border, near Wolfe and El Camino.

          You might also head to Clement Street in the Richmond District. I love Spices and Spices II (Sichuan by way of Taiwan), but lots of other options. Follow your nose.

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          Spices
          294 8th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94118

          Joy Luck Place
          10911 N Wolfe Rd, Cupertino, CA 95014

          3 Replies
          1. re: Windy

            Good point, in fact there's probably better Chinese food in and around San Jose than in SF. There are definitely better Chinese grocery stores.

            1. re: Windy

              Hmm, I didn't realize,.i thought I'd find the best in chinatown. In that case maybe I'll skip it and find somewhere closer for dim sum. any suggestions for places to go in SF to go instead that have better food than what I can get down in san jose? I guess that is a pretty broad question though. I'm able to drive up for one our two nights so I want to make the most of it. It's just too bad that allot of the sight seeing places are only available during the day

              1. re: lmbgm

                Yes, very broad. What you get in SF versus SJ is a more interesting scene and neighborhoods to walk around.

                Based on what you've said, maybe one night walking around Chinatown and eating nearby (Tony's Pizza, Osteria del Forno, Helmand Palace).

                And the other night wandering around the Mission, where you could go for great ethnic (Poc Chuc for Yucatecan, Limon Rotisserie for Peruvian, etc) or upmarket (Bar Tartine, Range, Bar Bambino, etc) . For one person, you wouldn't need to reserve. Just see what looks good and where you can walk in.

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                Bar Bambino
                2931 16th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

                Helmand Palace
                2424 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94109

                Osteria
                247 Hamilton Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94301

                Limon Rotisserie
                1001 S Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110

            2. For what it is worth, Fu Lam Mum in downtown Mountain View, from 9 pm to 1 am

              they have a set of specials where for $10 you can have your choice of 3 of the following:

              Ha Gow - shrimp dumplings

              Siu Mai - shrimp and pork dumplings

              Jing Pai Gwut - Steamed pork ribs in black bean sauce

              Jing Fung Dzow - Steamed phoenix claws (aka chicken feet)

              Seen Juk Guen - Yuba roll with minced pork inside

              Yeh choy go - steamed cabbage cake

              Dau Mieu Gow - shrimp and pea sprout dumpling

              Lor Mai Gai - steamed sticky rice with chicken mushroom preserved sausage wrapped in lotus leaf

              Cha Siu Bao - bbq pork steamed buns

              Lai Wong Bao - steam custard buns

              Tseen Tsuhng Go - Thousand Layer Cake (salted egg layers in between)

              Dzeen Gau Choy Gow - pan fried chive dumplings

              Dzeen Lor Bak Gow - pan fried daikon cake

              Ham Shui Gok - Pan fried glutinous rice puff

              Wu Gok - Fried Taro Puff

              Dza Ha Gow - Fried Shrimp Ball

              Dzeen Dui - Fried Sesame Ball with red bean paste inside

              Luk Cha Dza Tong Yuen - Green tea fried ball (?)

              Pai Gwut Chun Fu Fun - pork chops with rice noodle soup

              See Yau Wong Chow Mein - vegetarian soy sauce fried noodles

              Heung Wu Ngau Sung Jook - taro and minced beef congee

              Seen Ha Suk Mai Jook - Shrimp and corn congee

              Gai Yung Nam Gwa Jook - minced chicken and pumpkin congee

              Pei Dan Sau Yuk Jook - Preserved duck egg and lean minced pork congee

              This was from 2 years ago, not sure if it still holds. I suggest you call and ask before you go if after 5 pm but before 9 pm.

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              Fu Lam Mum
              155 Castro St, Mountain View, CA 94041

              6 Replies
              1. re: K K

                KK that sounds really good. Do you recommend Fu Lam Mum for lunch and before 9?

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                Fu Lam Mum
                155 Castro St, Mountain View, CA 94041

                1. re: Windy

                  I would not make FLM a destination stop, but as it is the only dim sum place in the area, can't complain. Otherwise might have better quality dim sum (during lunch hours) at HK Saigon Seafood Harbor (Sunnyvale), maybe Dynasty (Cupertino), that place that replaced Pan Tao/Sam Kee (whatever it is called now) across the street. Otherwise nothing spectacular until Millbrae further north.

                  1. re: K K

                    Thanks!

                    And worth noting to lmbgm that Millbrae is full of good to great Chinese food. Worth a search on the board.

                  2. re: Windy

                    I used to go all the time for lunch when I worked in Mountain View.... They were always very hit or miss. But even when they were hit, I would agree that it is not a "destination".
                    However, it you find yourself in Mountain View craving Dim Sum, it will do.

                  3. re: K K

                    Sounds good although I don't recognize some of those. I've been wanting to eat one of fried sweet water chestnut gelatin cake things, I forget what it's called

                    1. re: lmbgm

                      Water chestnut cake isn't usually fried. I've had it at Hong Kong Flower Lounge; it's usually on a cart rather than trays.

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                      Hong Kong Flower Lounge
                      51 Millbrae Ave, Millbrae, CA 94030

                  4. Ton Kiang serves dimsum at night on Geary/23rdish.

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                    Ton Kiang
                    5821 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94121

                    1. The Hang Ah Tearoom serves dim sum at night. I like it. You just order off the menu. RIght in Chinatown too. So there's a lot to see of Chinatown both before and after.

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

                      11 Replies
                      1. re: cosmogrrl

                        Well, just to report back. Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I drove all the way over to chinatown over to Hang Ah Teahroom ready to eat some dimsum only to find a sign saying "Tues - Fri: Closed" "Sat-Sun: Open" or something like that. I ended up wandering around stockton st a little bit only to find (as some of you said) that people were closing up shop. I didnt think this would include food establishments. Anyways, I some how ended up at "Y Ben House". Too late for dim sum ofcourse. I order a Beef Chow Fun, it was about average. The Fun must have been too soft or something because it was mostly in alot of little pieces, not long strips. I did end up wandering around a bit after, stopped at two bakeries (Golden Gate and Eastern on Grant) both seemed pretty good Got one of those egg custard things and one of those sweet rice balls with bean paste. Then walked all the way down to union square and back. Parking ended up only being $6. so overall it was a good night.

                        I have two more nights in town. I'll have to see if I can find some dinner dim sum around the san jose area now. Maybe that Fu Lam Mum place. Or Dynasty, but I dont think they serve at night. I'm still debating if I will drive up to SF again tomorrow or thursday night. Not sure what I should go see. I plan to go see alcatraz and walk around fisherman's warf on friday morning before my flight.

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

                        Fu Lam Mum
                        155 Castro St, Mountain View, CA 94041

                        1. re: lmbgm

                          Well you probably didn't miss much at Hang Ah. I haven't been there in 30 years, and 30 years ago it was pretty bad, though I think they have new owners now. More of the restaurants on Broadway are open later at night, but the truth is that Chinatown's restaurants serve primarily tourists and the local residents of Chinatown, the latter being the least affluent members of the Bay Area Chinese community. That's why Chinatown food is meh, while the stuff in Millbrae, Milpitas, Cupertino, Daly City etc. is so much better. If you find yourself in Daly City, another source of night time dim sum is Dim Sum King.

                          -----
                          Dim Sum King
                          99 Skyline Plz, Daly City, CA 94015

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

                          1. re: lmbgm

                            Could we persuade you to walk around the Ferry Building instead of the Wharf? At least where lunch is concerned...

                            1. re: Windy

                              Well I was going to do the alcatraz tour as early as possible. Then tour that WWII sub over at the other pier. Is that whole area considered "the wharf"? I had not decided on lunch. I was maybe thinking of a brunch. Nearby that area since I may be short on time. Ferry Building was on my list if I had time.

                              I'll think about Dim Sum King or Fu Lam Mum. KK mentioned that Fu Lam Mum might not be that great but is the only place around here. Is Dim Sum King good? If I think of something up in SF area to go see at night, I might go over to Daly City.

                              Otherwise, I might just give up on dimsum and go over to dynasty and get some other dish.

                              -----
                              Dim Sum King
                              99 Skyline Plz, Daly City, CA 94015

                              Fu Lam Mum
                              155 Castro St, Mountain View, CA 94041

                              1. re: lmbgm

                                I'd certainly rather have dim sum from Dim Sum King than any place in Chinatown.

                                -----
                                Dim Sum King
                                99 Skyline Plz, Daly City, CA 94015

                                1. re: Chandavkl

                                  I noticed a place called Dim Sum King on sunnyvale too. Are they the same place, different locations?

                                  -----
                                  Dim Sum King
                                  99 Skyline Plz, Daly City, CA 94015

                                  1. re: lmbgm

                                    Dunno. Sunnyvale is new and I haven't been there yet.

                                    1. re: Chandavkl

                                      They are not affiliated

                                      http://www.dimsumkingrestaurant.com/i... (Daly City

                                      )

                                      http://www.dimsumkingnow.com/ (Sunnyvale

                                      )

                                      Sunnyvale's DSK is in a strip mall where Popeye's, Cheesteak Shop and Adamson French dip is located. Their dim sum is a step above 99 Ranch (Mountain View) but several steps below FLM, and they also sell steam table American Chinese fare. Last I went DSK had no cheung fun/steamed rice roll crepes...not sure about now.

                                      If lmbgm is going northward and needs dim sum at night, give Dim Sum King a try in DC. Otherwise call ahead and find out if FLM in MV will do dim sum between 5 pm to before 9 pm.

                                      1. re: K K

                                        Thanks! I will see if I drive up north again tonight if I figure out something interesting to do. I was thinking about seeing the golden gate but I dont know if I feel like seeing it at night. That would be sort of on the way.

                                        1. re: K K

                                          Probably explains why I hadn't heard about this before.

                              2. re: lmbgm

                                OOps sorry about that! I didn't realize their hours had changed. While they may have sucked 30 years ago, they're pretty good now. And it's made to order so it's fresh. Good prices too. Whilst it may not be the best in the area, they do satisfy my dumpling cravings.