Wednesday, September 06, 2006

San Francisco Restaurant Review: Jackson Street in Chinatown

It seemed as if we always ended up eating on Jackson Street. Perhaps it was the proximity of our hotel, or having noticed that the restaurant clientele consisted mostly of asian eaters likely residents of Chinatown. The idea that the locals know where to eat, kept us coming back to this street of inexpensive and tasty food. The old adage “When in Rome do as the Romans do”, seemed to apply. Here is what we found.

Pho Golden Flower
The food was sturdy, not elaborate, a meal with no surprises, the staff friendly.My hat is off to this family run restaurant, the host told me she leaves homeat 7.30 am and does not get back until 11.00, each and every day, Saturdays and Sundays included. This fact alone sheds a new light of appreciation over a meal decidedly prepared to appeal to a wide range of tastes. Open daily 9:30 AM - 9:30 PM This restaurant is open for one half hour longer than most.
New Lun Ting Cafe
Their motto as found on the business card states “Fine Economy American Food Spaghetti”. I loved this place, a total blue collar eatery with a steady stream of customers, mostly men. A note to would be students or just budget minded travellers, this is your place. I had a roast pork dish over white rice, stacked high with caramelised onions and corn nibblets cascading off the plate. Polly my wife had fried fish in gravy mixed with baby bokchoy and carrot, with a side of white rice. Pictured below.
New Jackson Cafe
A decidedly un-Chinese sounding name with an unusual menu, such as Hong Kong style toast with condensed milk, Russian Borsch, Baked beef tongue with tomato sauce,and fried rainbow trout. Not exactly what you would expect as a tourist in China Town. To be fair much of the menu did reflect the Asian community. Polly ordered the daily special which happened to be salted cod chunks in white gravy over greens, one taste and I wanted to trade plates. I would say that today the daily special was special to the max. My meal consisted of a noodle dish with a shrimp filled won ton soup that was heavenly. The best part of dinning here is that no menu dish is more than $8.95.
Pearl City Seafood
This is the only restaurant I tried on Jackson that cost me more than a “Jackson”, that is $20.00. I happened to have been wanting to taste my first Dungeness Crab and my flight home was getting close. As we entered the restaurant large families clustered around tables, busy with crab and lobster, leading me to believe “this is the place”. The anticipation mounted as my “sizzling rice soup arrived” a cup of deep fried rice to be dropped into a broth loaded with shrimp, squid and vegetable, so nice. Gerald my co-diner and school friend ordered the lobster. Our dishes came, we ate, and Gerald exclaimed he was still hungry as I laboured over my anti-climatic crab.I am a self proclaimed blue crab picking freak, now decidedly done with Dungeness. My over all impression was that I would not go back to try something different. Service was not all that good and we had to pay extra for a small portion of dry white rice to accompany our meal.

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