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Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot now open in the TL. [San Francisco]

Did a double take when I spotted the familiar logo from the #30 bus going down Mason St. & jumped off to check it out. It opened yesterday at 405 Mason, next to Biscuits and Blues, but still hiring staff. Open at 5:30 daily.

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  1. Beware imposters in Little Sheep clothing.

    10 Replies
    1. re: FoodTrippin

      LOL. Ewe may rest assured that this has the same owners as the little sheep in Dublin and in Cupertino. That means there's not one or two but ... Zzz

      1. re: hyperbowler

        Yeah..... many wannabe "Greedy Sheep", "Fat Sheep"... hot pot packets available at the local supers. Surprised that Yum Brands would locate their first Little Sheep in the Tenderloin. But heck, the location is just off Union Square.

        1. re: FoodTrippin

          There are at least twenty Little Sheeps in the US and Canada -- I can't read the China and Japan location tabs on their website but I'm guessing a bunch more there. Maybe this should be on Chains too ;-).

          1. re: grayelf

            They originated in China (and launched a spate of competitors), so of course there are many there. Shanghai alone currently has 27 (per dianping.com). I've never eaten at one in the US though and have been missing the experience.

            1. re: soupçon

              I was definitely joking, soup, as I don't think overseas chains deserve the same treatment as home grown ones. Santouka is one of my favourite ramen places and it is part of a Japanese chain, for example.

              1. re: grayelf

                And look at Din Tai Fung. More than 100 outlets around the world and nobody suggests discussing it under "Chains." BTW, we're getting a Crystal Jade in SF soon too, another big "chain" operation.

            2. re: grayelf

              Seriously, it should be in "Chains." Literally part of KFC, Pizza Hut, etc. as mentioned in the other thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9751...

              1. re: eatzalot

                If you can equate Little Sheep to KFC or Pizza Hut, you've obviously never been to one, at least in China.

                Ownership has nothing to do with it if they are operating on the same model they did before Yum acquired them as an additional profit center.

                1. re: soupçon

                  "If you can equate Little Sheep to KFC or Pizza Hut. . ."

                  Sorry for the confusion, that wasn't my meaning at all.

                  Rather, it is the acquisition by Yum! Brands (largest, most notorious of the vast fast-food conglomerates that grace today's US restaurant universe) that links Little Sheep to KFC and Pizza Hut.

                  What this will mean for the (already large) Little Sheep chain in the future, time will tell.

                  The Little Sheeps in the US are well reputed, and locals who know them are eagerly awaiting the one that's pending near me in Mountain View. (It will also have to be a higher-priced, or else far more profitable, business than the popular family-run independent Sichuanese restaurant that was forced out of the same address last year, after the landlord notoriously tripled the rent from 5k to 15k monthly.)

        2. Has anyone tried this location? I went to one in Hohhot and really enjoyed it - more generally: How do the American and Chinese branches compare?

          7 Replies
          1. re: boris_qd

            This location opened only two days ago (and is still hiring in all positions), but I've seen reviews from diners at other Bay Area branches comparing them favorably to the Chinese originals.

            1. re: boris_qd

              And is the SF branch in the vein of the San Mateo "new concept" or more like the rest of the chain?

              1. re: Melanie Wong

                I haven't been inside, so I have no idea. In fact I haven't been in any Little Sheep on this side of Pacific. The "concept" in Shanghai was good enough for me -- basically just good hot pot and unlimited free beer.

                1. re: soupçon

                  was good enough for you to take xiao yang as your moniker. were there still places that had unlimited free beer even in the 50s of our childhood in the U.S. ?

                  1. re: moto

                    The annual Grumman Corporation family picnic, which my uncle and cousin took me to. I even met Miss Rheingold 1959 there, so of course it was "the dry beer".

                    1. re: soupçon

                      sure, and brewery tours had unlimited free brew as well, but was thinking in terms of eateries, cafes, hof braus. were you out in Nassau county, or in one of the boroughs of NY ?

                      1. re: moto

                        I never encountered AYCD free beer in the US. Maybe I never lived in a state with laws that permitted it.

                        I grew up far upstate, but spent the summer of '59 with my cuz in Riverhead, Suffolk County. Grumman had two plants, Bethpage and Calverton, and the picnic was in Calverton.

                        Riverhead was the center of the Long Island duck industry, and the place smelled of duck doo all the time. On a culinary note (to keep this slightly on topic), the highlight of my stay was visiting The Big Duck.


            2. definitely union square, not tenderloin. too bad it closes at 11:30 on weekends (i think). prime opportunity missed for late-night dining by being across from two late-night clubs that attract a significant asian crowd. i guess there's still katanaya (and jack in the box/pinecrest for post-2am)