Michelle's Pancake House in Cupertino (northern Chinese)
Wanted to alert everybody to Michelle's Pancake House in Cupertino. They just opened last Sunday - they're a franchise from Socal. The franchisee is Taiwanese but the owner of the franchise is from Shandong and it shows.
Dumplings were some of the best I've ever had. We got the pork and napa ones. It's handmade (you can watch them in their beautiful clean kitchen) - the skin is thin yet chewy. There are excellent dipping sauces - the standard soy sauce and vinegar but also a more unique garlic-based one as well as a hot sauce that seemed to have essence of peanut (or almond?).
My girlfriend was a huge fan of their red bean pancakes - the bean paste was not sickly sweet and definitely let the true flavor of the red bean come through. The skin was extremely thin and the pancake was well-pleated - those who have tried to make these before will recognize the amount of skill this takes. We also got beef and green onion pancakes, which were excellent and very juicy (though I think they contain chives, which the whole restaurant smells of).
Finally, the zha jiang mian was excellent - the noodles are clearly house-made, though I think through a machine (not hand-pulled). The dish was actually unlike I've seen before - with pickled baby corn and carrots, but the flavor the dish was spot on. Well executed.
Picked up a bag of frozen dumplings on our way out. Love this place. They're having a grand opening on the 30th but they're open and packed now already.
Michelle's Pancake House
19060 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino, CA 95014