Wonderland -- lower haight, SF
My son and his friends love this place. I thought it was fine, similar to China Village in Albany, but not as quite as good. Lots of chiles -- in fact when the waitress wasn't serving, she was at a table cutting dried chillies with scissors (?). My husband and I had the onion pancakes and the cumin lamb. The guys had fried rice, Mongolian beef and a couple of gloopy looking chicken dishes. The vegetables seemed fresh, at least. The atmosphere is fairly upscale and the service is okay. I got the sense that our ticket was being ignored while they focused on takeout until a couple of regulars joined us and then suddenly our food was there. Since I'll probably be back, are there any specials I should look for?
In what way are they finicky?
Burma superstar is gonna have a huge wait and doesn't take reservations--- I wouldn't go there with a family. Mandalay is close by and has, in many people on this boards opinion, better Burmese dishes and the wait is never too bad.
I had one meal at Wonderland, and found the lemon chicken to taste like lemon pudding mix. None of the other dishes stood out but nothing was too greasy.
I do not like Wonderland AT ALL!!! and it is the closest "Chinese" restaurant to me...I have hoped too many times and been disappointed too many times!
Mandalay is exactly the opposite...every meal is consistent and very good!!!
We ended up eating dinner at Wonderland. As usual Chowhounders had it right.
Service was fine and friendly and pretty quick. Was not very busy but we ate early.
The finicky eaters liked it fine. By finicky I mean those people who are looking for the same experience every time. Food was tasty and a tad greasy.
For me the best dishes were the Mango Shrimp salad, Lots of fresh greens, with marinated, not cooked shrimp and underripe mango shreds. Dressing a little too generous but manageable. The lamb was also very good. We couldn't get the Cumin Lamb because of the spiciness factor (honestly families!) but the Lamb with Green onion was quite good. They were serving one of my favorite dishes, Baby Bok Choy with 2 mushrooms. If the Bok Choy hadn't been seriously undercooked it would have worked better, though I managed my share. The shitakes were good and the other mushroom I did not recognize. Medium brown large, thin slices. Might have been canned but I didn't ask.
Prices were reasonable and we have lots of leftovers.
They served very well prepared brown rice which we didn't ask for but ate and were charged extra. I really think it's fine if Asian restaurants want to charge for rice. But it should be made clear.
Well, that's my report. Next time I will take Melanie's advice and go to Five Happiness.