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Jul 23, 2012 01:26 PM

Oh no! Is Dol Ho now a No Go?


A friend just returned from a trip to San Fran. He asked about "that great dim sum place you're always raving about" based on our trip there years ago, so I gave him all the info about don't be in a hurry, be patient, you're going for the food, not atmosphere, and, oh yeah, don't be in a hurry.

Other friends I've sent there have always reported fantastic "best I've ever had" experiences, but it's been over a year since the last report.

This time was completely different. He managed to receive two dishes. One was good, the other was cold, then "they stopped serving the white guy". He's a nice guy, not demanding, and knew that it would take forever to eat there, so he was well prepared, but it was obvious they were done with him.

Is this a trend or a fluke? I know him and can say with certainty that's he's very easy going and wasn't a problem for them. I feel horrible that I built it up to be Dim Sum Nirvana (mixed religion reference) and it was more like purgatory for him,


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  1. So sorry that happened to him. We've eaten at Dol Ho a few times on visits and had no such problems (we are white). Most recently Nov 2011 so admittedly a while ago.

    1. Picked up some dim sum to go from Dol Ho this past Saturday, around noonish. While we were waiting, noticed more non-Asians than usual were dining in. A six-top, a four-top and at least a couple of deuces of Westerners. None of them seemed to be hungrily eyeing the dim sum cart, trying to get enoug to eat. They appeared to be enjoying their meal, not a frown between them.

      Sorry to hear your friend had a less than stellar experience. Being nice and patient does not neccessarily translate to better service and more food. All those older Chinese patrons with the newspapers, they normally eat only a dish or two, and drink a pot or two of tea. If your friend was too laid back and not signalling for more food, the cart ladies might have assumed that he was done. If your friend ever goes back, tell him raising his hands to get the cart's attention is not considered rude. In some of the busier Hong Kong dim sum houses, diners bum-rush the carts to make sure they get their share of the goodies. The good stuff does not make it too far into the dining room before its all sntached up.

      1 Reply
      1. re: FoodTrippin

        Dol Ho is probably the best dim sum place in Chinatown, probably in the city, at least where you can sit down. Was just there a week ago and had no trouble getting what I wanted. Food Trippin describes the place accurately. Be patient and you will see what you want. Your friends report is just plain unrepresentative, to put it mildly. And I am a grey haired round-eye.

      2. He or you really think they stopped serving him because he was white, do think they didn't notice he was white during the first two dishes? Also what were his magical abilities to know that they were done with him especially since they had no problem giving him two dishes.

        I've mostly only gone there with Europeans or white Americans and I've certainly never had that experience. or maybe they heard him call it San Fran and had a no clueless dudebro policy.

        1. Jonathan Kauffman revisited Dol Ho last month and happily said it had redeemed itself.