Eat & DrinkSan Francisco

Not the Tired Chinese Lunch Plate and Cheapie Dim Sum in Bernal- The Jasmine Tea House

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Extra points for the neon.

Extra points for the neon.

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’s'..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]

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Stephen Torres - Threadbare-Fact Finder (Editor, San Francisco)

Stephen Torres - Threadbare-Fact Finder (Editor, San Francisco)

Stephen's early years were spent in a boxcar overlooking downtown Los Angeles. From there he moved around the state with his family before settling under the warm blanket of smog that covers suburban Southern California. Moving around led to his inability to stay in one place for very long, but San Francisco has been reeling him back in with its siren song since 1999.
By trade he pours booze, but likes to think he can write and does so occasionally for the SF Bay Guardian, Bold Italic and 7x7. He also likes to enjoy time spent in old eateries, bars and businesses that, by most standards, would have been condemned a long time ago.


  1. Stephen Torres - Threadbare-Fact Finder (Editor, San Francisco)
    October 12, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    Yikes! This probably won’t ease anyone’s mind, but after years of working in the service industry, I don’t really think there are very many restaurants in this city that don’t deserve a similar score. I’ll spare you the details.