Chinese w/ visiting family/foodies
Planning a Friday night Chinese dinner in SF/East Bay/South Bay w/ visiting family/foodies from Memphis
Wanting someplace w/ fabulous food that's terrific but not fancy (at one point we were considering Koi Palace or R & G Lounge, but ruled them out as more traditional/expensive)
We're now trying to decide among three possibilities: King of Noodles or Mission Chinese or Yuet Lee.
Which of those three would you choose? Why? What would you be sure to order?
Is there someplace else that you'd pick over those three?
I'd pick Kingdom of Noodles of these three. I've always felt Yuet Lee to be over-rated and overpriced for what it serves, and Mission Chinese Food's scorched palate approach to be very heavy-handed and inauthentic.
But if you're looking for something as homey and soulful as King of Noodles, you should also consider the new Shandong Deluxe on Taraval, which is just slightly less hole hole-in-the-wall-ish and has a couple of interesting regional Chinese food twists to the menu.
yum's bistro in fremont is the best i've tried -- better than koi palace or r&g, but similarly priced.
their "under the bridge crab" is great, but not inexpensive at ~$40. i've also had their wonton noodle soup, which was really great and ~10, and enough to serve 4. i'd suggest this place, and just order items to fit your budget.
yuet lee is not inexpensive -- it is a seafood place. (anywhere with good seafood is going to be expensive.) if you go, don't miss the clams with black bean sauce, or the salt + pepper calamari.
king of noodles looks good -- i've only been to their sister restaurant, kingdom of dumpling. was actually there last friday. recommended, but not as cheap as it seems. our bill all in was $85 for 4 people, though we stuffed ourselves and had beers. don't miss the xiao long bao. pan-fried radish dumplings were good too.
mission chinese is chinese food for hipster white people. don't know why visitors always mention this place.
there are also random less expensive options in chinatown that taste good. my girlfriend thinks they are gross, but her mom (who is from hong kong) and sister like them, as do i. if you were adventurous, a chinatown chinese food crawl could be interesting and cheap.
If it's okay to go to the Outer Richmond, I would choose Hakka over any of these. Here's my discussion about Hakka from last March: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/836833 The pork belly is really great.
Mission Chinese won't be a very good idea if your party is larger than 4 people....and even for small parties, the wait is really long. So I wouldn't recommend that. Not worth the wait IMO.
I haven't been to Yuet Lee in many years, so I'm not sure about it. I think if you particularly want to be in Chinatown it could be good, but if not, options in the Richmond/Sunset are better (not to mention East Bay)
King of Noodles is good, so I like that choice. I liked a lamb noodle soup I tried there a few months ago, and their dumplings are great.
It all depends on where you really want to be (SF or East Bay or South Bay) since there are plenty of other good candidates in East Bay and South Bay, too.