In San Francisco, one takes it for granted that good and genuine Chinese food is to be found if one so desires. However, you have to be invested and either traipse over to Chinatown or Clement Street if you want the really good stuff.
That said, sometimes you just want Chinese without leaving your neighbourhood, which usually leaves most of us lazy asses at the mercy of some terrible grease pit or ordering from some mass-produced menu king-pin along the lines of Ho’sâ€¦..blechhh.
If you live in the Mission, Bernal, Excelsior, or Noe Valley, however, you probably are already keen to the gem that is the Jasmine Tea House.
Situated on the odd restaurant row that is the 3000 block of Mission Street and mere doors down from the unfortunate Bernal/ Bayview staple, Nu-lite Kitchen (the one with weird mascot dancing around in a coolie hat), lies this relief from gloppy, fluorescent take-out malaise.
Its not super cheap, but if you want to save a few dollars the best part is that the lunch menu is a pretty good bargain (albeit with the obligatory mountain of steamed rice) and they have a dim sum list that is mostly under three dollars all the time.
If you’re feeling adventurous and have some extra cash, the also offer frogs, ostrich, and abalone, which are a little scarce on this stretch of the street.
If you have the time though, its highly recommended you check out their subtly decorated, dusty rose-hued dining room with its beautiful frosted glass centerpiece featuring a flame-headed vixen prone against some ethereal, misty mountains. Classy!
Jasmine Tea House
3253 Mission Street near Valencia
[Bernal Heights/ Outer Mission]