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Apr 7, 2013 07:22 PM

i-Skewers in the Sunset [San Francisco]

I went with David to iSkewers on Judah between 29th and 30th yesterday. We ordered a ton of food, as we were bringing the leftovers back to two friends back home, and also because of gluttony.

We got:
- zhajiang mien
- pork and celery dumplings
- cold sliced beef pancake with sesame
- stir-fried greens

Overall, it was very enjoyable, with notably fine textures and warm service. They were out of the first dumplings we tried to order (pork and spinach, I think) but pork/celery were great. Super juicy, nice texture to the dumpling skin. Fantastic chewy texture on the zhajiang mien hand-pulled noodles. Quite a lot of ground pork. I would have liked the sauce to be a touch less sweet.

The beef pancake was two little sandwich-like pancakes, each cut in half, a bit dainty looking, like an afternoon tea snack. Tasty, not as memorable as the noodles or dumplings. The only thing I wasn't wild about was the greens--watery with not a ton of flavor outside of oil.

There was some confusion about our zhajiang mian order--at first we were brought a veggie hand-pulled noodle bowl with goopy sauced eggplant on top. When we told the waitress we thought we'd ordered something else, she had the kitchen expedite the preparation of the substitute (though it was likely that we had miscommunicated in ordering--we asked her to read the Chinese-language specials posted to the wall and may have pointed to the wrong one).

The dining room is pretty small (maybe 8 tables) with the other half of the restaurant taken up by the cooks rolling, pressing and stretching noodles. Dumplings came out of a freezer near the noodle prep area. Usual beverages: (free) tea and soda.

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  1. Like pane, I thought the meal was good. Dumplings w/ pork and celery were good and on par with other boiled dumpling places in the city.

    The zhajiang mian was very good as well, and we both enjoyed the bite of the hand-pulled noodles. The sauce wasn't quite as flavorful as the version at House of Pancake, which remains my favorite, but it was pretty close. I think it has Kingdom of Noodle beat.

    I liked the beef sandwich, though again not as good as the same dish at House of Pancake. The beef inside was cold, though the pastry was hot and tasted extremely fresh.

    I thought the vegetables (a choy) were good, and did not find them too watery. I think that a choy is sort of always like that, and I actually don't often get it in restaurants but when I do I like it more than Chinese broccoli or pea pod stems.

    Our waitress noticed we had a hard time serving the noodles since they were so long, so she brought us some scissors to cut them, which was appreciated!

    Overall, I'd be willing to return, though I would probably choose House of Pancake these days for similar dishes.

    1 Reply
    1. tried the xlb and wonton noodles a while back
      xlb had nice soup but little meat.
      wonton had mostly pork, little shrimp filling. broth was chicken flavored. noodles fresh and tender.

      wouldn't repeat these 2 items.

      1. went here today. got the skewers, which were indeed delicious. am wondering if this is owned by the kingdom of dumpling people, yelp consensus is mixed, though i definitely noticed some similarities. not sure why they'd need to have such a huge prep area though given that KOD has a commissary kitchen nearby. i asked the server and she said no, but i'm not sure if she understood me.

        what i was wondering about though is when i went in, there were a few items written in chinese; i asked the waitress and she pointed to the noodle soups that the two other tables in the place (both chinese patrons) were eating. i really wanted skewers so i got them,and was happy, but am thinking i might have to come back for the soups. can anyone translate?

        1 Reply
        1. re: vulber

          rough translation

          all titled hand pulled noodles

          1-chow ma mein

          2-szechwan flavor fish fillet noodle

          3-tomato egg flower (scrambled?) noodle.