Regional Chinese roundup 3.0 (SF Bay Area)- April 2016 - December 2017 archive

The Regional Chinese Roundup 3.0 thread got too long, so old responses now live here.

Thanks for this amazing resource, I’ll use this map frequently! It’s great to have so much information accessible in one place.

One of the biggest trendz I’ve noticed recently is the explosion of “hot pot” places that are mostly mixed meat and vegetables in a small fake wok over sterno. There are two new and busy restaurants near Berkeley campus that specialize in this alone, and seem quite popular.
The very popular Taiwanese Tasty Pot
and Peak Point (nominally Taiwanese, recognizable mosty due to the shaved ice desserts).
Yelp tells me there’s a Vpot in Albany–it looks like the type of hot pot where you cook your own in broth and is nominally Sichuan.
And of course this phenomenon is popular in many of the restaurants above listed under Sichuan, Taiwan, and “dry pot”. I’m not a huge fan, but am curious about its origin as a trend.

I’ve only been to Lulu’s Kitchen once, back near when mapo tofu was DOTM (Nov. 2013), but I remember it focusing on Sichuan dishes (though I wasn’t enthused about my mapo tofu–I’m kind of difficult to enthuse, though).
Also in Concord, Mandarin Garden seems like your garden-variety American Chinese eatery, but has a couple Korean-Shandong specialties–“Chachang Mein” and “Hot & Spicy Noddle Soup*” (jjamppong).

Thanks! I was confusing Lulu’s with defunct Lily’s. Fixed.

Hot pot is huge, and I would expect that there are more restaurants specializing in Chinese hot pot then there are any category above except maybe Sichuan. The lack of a clear regionality is one of the few reasons why I haven’t tracked them. Can someone who knows something about hot pot businesses start a thread and tell us how these businesses work? I’d be interested to know how much food is prepared as opposed to supplied, for example see the article centered on the Shandong beef roll by @chandavkl

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Yes, the hot pot explosion is fascinating. I’m used to the traditional “cook your own food” hot pots, but the newer ones–which are more like soups or stews where all the ingredients are pre-cooked and just piled into a pot with broth–appear to be Taiwanese in origin.

Definitely a craze going on there… The newest would seem to be Lollipot, which replaced that big Vietnamese place at 19th and Taraval that I never got around to trying.


  • Mala Formula (Newark)
  • Chi (Milpitas). Is slated to be replaced by “Spicy Way”


  • Spicy Heaven (san mateo) appears to be the new name of what had been Wu Bai recently.
  • Chef Liu (San Jose) Shao Kao from the owners of Ace King.
  • Tang Collection has a chef from Hunan, and the menu is Hunan, including dry pot, and skewers


New addition

  • Pisco Trail has a Chinese Peruvian New Years dinner @18Reasons in SF on Jan. 27th

More info

  • Chef Z’s (San Jose) h/t Melanie Wong on CH, who says chef and wife are from Kunming in Yunnan provice, and chef was raised in Chongqing. A few Kunming dishes, stylistic influences in preparations, and a few Mixian noodles 米线 dishes. Note that Kunming is closer to Sichuan province, and we still lack Yunnan restaurants with dishes representative of the area of Yunnan provide with more Southeast Asian influences.

  • Consistent with the spicy duck items listed on the menu, Spicy Station (Cupertino) has owners from Wuhan (confirmed by phone)


  • I moved a bunch of the uncategorized restaurants into “Northern with noodle specialities, unknown or non-specific region (might actually be Shandong or Dongbei)”

  • I moved Teochew and Hakka from underneath Guangdong, and respectively linked the Cleaver Quarterly’s article on Teoswa (Teochew/Swatow) cuisine and the Hakka Cookbook.

  • There were a few Cantonese-owned places with Yunnan “mixian” noodles that I’ve listed under their own category under Yunnan.

  • I followed up on earlier advice from @ThomasNash and deleted the “Sichuan Taiwanese” category and put Spices and Spices III under Sichuan, and mentioned that they have stinky tofu options.

I am curious if there are good arroz chaufa around here. I tried it for the one and only time in Cusco years ago after months of travelling, out of curiosity and craving for Chinese at the time. It was so bad that I never brought myself to order it anywhere again. Did I just have bad luck?

Ohhhh, thanks for the updated list!

For the Yunnan dish, are you referring to the Cross the Bridge noodle? There may be a place in Millbrae (HD Chinese Yunnan Rice Noodle) that serves that, though I don’t know how good of a rendition it is.

Almost ten years ago a renown civil engineer took us to one more for your collection:

Then (and maybe still) there was a freezer at the reception counter holding popular items to add to the containers in the pink bag.

Thanks! I’ve added them to the list. If someone could start a new thread, I’d love to hear a recent review — the pics online of their Shanghainese dishes look great, and their big sesame bread (zhima da bing) looks excellent too.

SG was good 15~20 years ago when choices were VERY limited, especially in EB. I wouldn’t go out of my way to SG today. Cooking is too sweet for my taste.

Great and very helpful list. Thank you. My recent accidental discovery of Shanghai Tapas in Fremont is worth some ink. Genuine Shanghainese cooking, not overly sweet. We tried a new-to-me fish gluten dish. Delicate and very good. Made with fish, no wheat. (i.e. gluten free?)

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InsideScoopSF’ Jonathan Kauffman has a nod to this topic (h/t Melanie at Chowhound):

It includes a dig at CH: “It took 18 months for version 3.0 to come out, after many of Chowhound’s prolific, opinionated contributors stormed off the site en masse last year after a round of major changes”

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Everything is integrated into the original post, but for record keeping, here are restaurants that opened in 2016. Please start a report if you’ve been to any! In 2015, 5 restaurants opened and subsequently closed, and 40 opened and are still open.

Hunan Cuisine (Fremont)
Ping’s Bistro (Fremont)

Hunan noodle
Yum Noodles (Santa Clara)

Kyrgyzstan cuisine has some overlap with Uyghur
Silk Road (San Francisco)

Jin Jin Gourmet (Sunnyvale)
Shanghai Cuisine (Union City)

Shao kao / skewers
BBQ Alley (Newark)

Pop Pot (San Mateo)
Golden Mountan (Hayward) (used to be Cantonese, w/ Hakka specialties)

Sichuan dry pot
Sizzling Pot King (Sunnyvale)
Celestial Flame (San Francisco)

Hi Pot (Cupertino)

Lollipot at 19th and Taraval is described as Taiwanese by Yelpers.

Fondue Chinoise in the old Helmand space on Br\oadway is described by Hoodlnies as traditional Sichuan Hot Pot.

Thanks! I can start adding subsections for Sichuan hot pot and Taiwanese hot pot for places that self-identify, and don’t have a big enough menu to fit in the general categories.

Hotpot First is a Sunnyvale location of a Chongqing restaurant. I’ve kept track of a bunch of others, and will sort through them before integrating.

Guidance would be helpful in general categorization for this, especially if folks have been at particular restaurants.

Yes, Cross the Bridge noodles is the Yunnan dish I was referring to.

There are a few places with Yunnan Mixian, and other places that tout Yunnan noodles. However, the lack of other Yunnan dishes on their menus makes me skeptical, for example Sweet Cafe.

Minor quibble. Spices Fremont is labeled as Taiwanese Sichuan. But I believe that they call themselves Hunan. Same general ownership as Spices I, II, III … but chefs and cuisine are definitely different. Had 3~4 dishes at Spices Fremont, spicy hot as hell! I wondered where they source their variety of spicy hot peppers from.

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