Mission Chinese Restaurant: San Francisco

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I have been wanting to try this restaurant for as long as I can remember! Finally a visit to SF and I’m not missing it ….

Got there around 5:30 pm because I have heard about lines but absolutely no problem getting a table in this fairly small, quaintly tacky venue. As you probably know, there is no sign out front with their name. They originally took over the Lung Shan Restaurant a few nights a week as a pop-up before they went crazy. Never changed the sign.

We can only try a few dishes as we have been eating non-stop. The menu is so curious. Beer brined Szechuan pickles. Tea smoked eel. Tiki pork belly. Thrice cooked bacon and rice cakes. Broccoli beef brisket. Schmaltz rice. Not like any chinese food menu I’ve ever seen before.

First we order Grandma’s Pork Dumplings in a ham broth: just okay. Dough was a little thick and meat was nothing special. Broth was a little interesting but I wouldn’t have guessed ham hock.

Next, Kung Pao Pastrami: hmmm … rich, very rich. And very different. With peanuts, celery and chili. Gotta give them points for creativity. Enjoyed it but not sure if I would order it again.

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Salt Cod Fried Rice: THE BOMB. Mackerel confit (what???), chinese sausage, lettuce and egg. Flavor, flavor, flavor.

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In our party of 3, I’m the biggest fan. One didn’t love it, the other neutral. I have to give them credit for creativity in their ingredients and style. It’s genius. And I only tried a few dishes. I love the feel. Nerd-out, cheesy but clean, glam chinese hole-in-the-wall. I can’t wait to go back and try the rest of the dishes. Guess I need to find new friends to go with!

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