On the Road Exploring Restaurants Inspired by Great Chefs
Saturday, March 31, 2012
Mission Chinese in San Francisco
Not a bad job for 4 hungry people
It is much better than it looks
I have been reading about Mission Chinese Food for over 8 months and finally got an opportunity to head down there. If you start off your trek in downtown on Mission as you go you start to wonder what the final destination will look like. As we headed southwest down Mission the area starts to change to a mixture of several lifestyles. Once under the freeway you are at an intersection where you are not sure whether you are in a Hispanic, Chinese, Japanese or just mixed culture area. Parking is sketch but we lucked out by finding a spot in front of the restaurant. This place is not fancy and definitely not working on distinguishing it's brand. When you get there you sign in outside and you get called as a table of your size becomes available. The restaurant itself is only 50 feet deep by 20 feet wide with an eclectic Chinese New Year look and feel. The menu is simple and very exciting if you are looking for a spin on Chinese traditional plates. Kung Pao Pastrami, really, yep really good! Spicy with chunks of Pastrami, Potatoes and other root vegetables. We started out with a bowl of Smoked Beef Brisket Noodle Soup there were so many favors, the Beef Brisket was smokey the was a broth of Celery and Carrot with Cardamom spices and the Cow Fun Noodle was rolled tightly. This was followed by a Salted Cod Fish Fried Rice with an Escolar confit and tiny pieces of Chinese Sausage, it was different and a little salty. Many of the dishes are either based on Pork, Lamb, Beef or Veal, that is not to say that they do not have Vegetarian plates. The Pork Belly was for 3 bite pieces of Pork Belly with a honey glaze and Micro Greens, I eat a lot of Pork Belly and I am having a hard time distinguishing the difference anymore. At the end of the day it is really thick Bacon that if eaten enough of will cause a heart attack. We then had Stir Fried Pork Jowl with Winter Radishes, Fermented Black Beans, Mint and Chilis. this was a very unique and tasty dish one of my 3 favorites. Then came the heat Mongolian Long Beans one of my favorite dishes,the first time I had these I had them at Betel Nut Restaurant on Union Street 20 years ago. I loved them then I loved them at Mission. These Beans are spicy, but they are so simple and good.
My favorite for the nite was the Veal Back Rib it had been slow cooked with a thick fatty crust. It was sweet and delicious. Mission Chinese is not the best place if you are watching calories or your salt intake, but if you are looking for a fun place with unique and high quality food that is very reasonable this is the place. One recommendation come early because even on a Monday night by 8pm there were 40 people waiting to get in.