Shirley Fong-Torres’ Favorite Asian Restaurants
Posted July 2006
- Bow Hon
850 Grant Ave., 415-362-0601
This tiny 2-floor restaurant boasts claypot specialties and is a popular place for the Lunar New Year specialty, yu soon, raw fish filet salad. A great place for a quick lunch or dinner in the heart of Chinatown.
- Four Seas
731 Grant Ave., 415-989-8188
The Wok Wiz tours frequently end at this restaurant for lunch - good steamed dumplings, steamed buns, and noodle dishes, dinners and banquets.
- Great Eastern
649 Jackson St., 415-986-2500
Attractive "Hong Kong-style" atmosphere, medium size restaurant with fresh fish and crab pulled fresh out of tanks.
- Henry’s Hunan
674 Sacramento St., 415-788-2234
924 Sansome St., 415-956-7727
1016 Bryant St., 415-861-5808
110 Natoma St., 415-546-4999
Owner/chef Henry Chung is the pioneer of introducing spicy ’n hot Hunan food to San Francisco. Try Diane’s Meat Pies and Pancakes as starters, then fire up your palate!
- Hons Wun Tun
648 Kearny St., 532 Jessie St., 415-552-4933
Just as the name implies, this café serves up hundreds of bowls of noodles and won ton a day, and for the right price.
- Hunan Home
622 Jackson St. 415-982-2844
Come “home” to wonderful Hunan plate lunches, great northern- style dim sum on weekends, and fabulous banquet dishes. Excellent Honey Walnut Prawns.
- Imperial Palace
816 Washington St, off of Waverly
New (as of June, 2006) restaurant with very good dim sum and stir-fry dishes, but customer service needs spiffing up. I will return because the kitchen listened to me to NOT INCLUDE MSG which is a problem for many diners these days. The steamed dumplings and baked pork buns are delicious and tastes very fresh. There is an “open kitchen” where you can watch the chefs prepare dumpings.
2 New Montgomery, (in the Palace Hotel), 415-546-5090
Located on the corner of this historic and gorgeous hotel, this is one of my favorite downtown Japanese restaurants. A great place to enjoy bento boxes or full-menu selections. Attractive and neat, and close to Market St., shopping, and other hotels.
- Le Colonial
20 Cosmo Place, 415-931-3600
In the former site of Trader Vic’s, where my father once was the head chef. A beautiful, upscale Vietnamese restaurant, in a tropical and elegant setting, with an upstairs lounge and dining area.
- Nagano Sushi
3727 Geary Blvd., 415-221-9811
You can take the Geary bus from downtown and cross the street to this fabulous Japanese restaurant. Sit at the bar and feast on fresh hamachi, toro, and dozens of Japanese rolls. If you prefer sit-down, their Tempura is well executed, as well as hot noodle bowls.
150 Waverly Place
Located along one of the most picturesque streets of Chinatown, Potsticker is known for their steamed dumplings and noodles.
- PPQ Dungeness Island
2332 Clement St., 415-386-8266
I love the under-$6 bowl of piping hot “pho” noodles, the wondrous roast crab and garlic noodles, not as pricey as Crustacean, also excellent!
- R & G Lounge
631 Kearny St., 415-982-7877
Newly remodeled, street level bar/lounge; upstairs to the dining room, excellent seafood, known for their steamed or salt and pepper crab. Very attractive, bustling.
101 2nd St., 415-777-0277
Namesake Roy Yamaguchi has yet another popular dining spot for us, serving up Euro-Asian cuisine. Atmosphere is upscale, beautiful bar, very good food selections.
- Sam Wo
813 Washington St., 415-982-0596
My “I Can’t Relieve I Ate My Way Through Chinatown!” tour begins here, as we share piping hot bowls of “jook” — rice congee, along with Chinese bread and stuffed rice noodles. You have to visit Sam Wo’s at least once!
- Tampopo Ramen House
1740 Buchanan St., 415-346-7132
This is a very small restaurant, go early if you can for delicious and price-friendly gyoza, wonderful ramen soup with roast pork.
- Yank Sing
101 Spear. 415-957-9300
My favorite Dim Sum restaurant to impress family, friends, and foodies. Creative, innovative, and fresh, delicious dumplings and special dim sum accompaniments; Maggie’s favorites: sticky rice, mango pudding. Worth every cent.
- Yee’s Restaurant
1131 Grant Ave., 415-576-1818
I bring my “I Can’t Believe I Ate My Way Through Chinatown!” groups here for heavenly Roast Duck, Salt ‘n Pepper Eggplant, Fresh Ginger/Scallion Dungeness Crab, and other authentic Cantonese dishes. Menus are in Chinese, on the wall, or typical tourist/casual menu. $2-3 specials, “Happy Hour,” at 3 p.m.
- You’s Dim Sum
What a find! I bring my ‘eating’ (see above) group here to nibble “dim sum on the street,” as we bite into the best Baked Roast Pork Buns and steamed shrimp and pork dumplings.
- Yuet Lee
1300 Stockton St., 415-982-6020
Easy to find — look for the Coca-Cola sign — it's bigger than the Yuet Lee sign. A favorite among SF chefs, foodies. Brightly lit, but just keep your eyes on your bowls and plates of fresh fish, seafood, rice plates!