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Jun 19, 2013 09:01 PM

Alice's Restaurant in Noe Valley, SF

I went to this Chinese restaurant in Noe Valley the other day. It was my first visit.

I wanted to try the avocado egg rolls, since this seemed like the most interesting item on the menu. The egg rolls were crispy, and filled with warm, ripe avocado. Pretty much what I expected, served w/ a sweet dipping sauce. Fun, but not life-changing. I have attached a picture

Garlic eggplant appetizer was halved eggplants, broiled w/ a sweet sauce and pieces of garlic (tasted almost like dried garlic?). I thought it was not bad, but thought to myself: "I could easily make this at home and it would be way better."

Mu-si pork was a classic version like I grew up with on the east coast. Served with flour tortillas (they tasted identical to Mission brand from Safeway, and maybe were..) and hoisin sauce.

Orange prawns were deep fried, and glazed in a sticky, sweet sauce w/ lots of orange rind. I liked it.

Meanwhile, the Alice's spicy chicken was basically the epitome of horrible Americanized Chinese food. Gloopy, sweet, not at all spicy, and with chicken pieces so fried that you couldn't tell they were chicken.

It's unlikely I will ever return unless someone else chooses this place, but aside from the chicken, it really wasn't too bad.

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  1. In the early days of the SF Bay Area board we used to see more posts about the Eliza/Eric/Alice's restaurants. Kind of refreshing to see it pop up again.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Melanie Wong

      What's the relationship between these restaurants? My friends were noticing that the menu for Eric and Alice's were extremely similar.

      1. re: Dave MP

        Almost identical menus. I prefer Alice's because it is about a block closer to my house, plus I think the wonton soup is better.
        But I think of it as convenient neighborhood food, rather than destination worthy.

        1. re: absc

          We used to live in NV and that was our opinion. We could walk. That was good.

        2. re: Dave MP

          I'm not a student of this, since I've only been to Eliza's and that was almost 20 years ago. My recollection is that they're all owned by members of the same family, Sung, who had some falling out with each other. I think Eliza's is the original.

          1. re: Dave MP

            Not just the menu, but the whole formula is the same, right down to the decor, with the big contemporary vases and an antique looking table or screen by the front door. Even the food was pretty interchangeable.

            They all used to be reliable for fresh tasting versions of the americanized sugary dishes, but the quality of ingredients they're using has really gone down, and Eric's doesn't get the same crowds it used to. Someone here on CH suggested Alice's was still good for that craving, so this thread was an interesting read.

            1. re: sugartoof

              I used to live near the Eliza's in Potrero Hill, and I would always go for dishes with asparagus. They had solid quality asparagus.

        3. I always thought you could get anything you want at Alice's?

          1 Reply
          1. re: poser

            I've been expecting a comment like this every since the post got started.

          2. The original comment has been removed