Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Gung Hay Fat Choy from San Francisco's Chinatown

San Francisco's Chinatown is really alive this time of year, bustling with energy and awash in bright red colors. Maybe because of the spectacular weather we've been having (sun, sun and more sun) and perhaps it's because we're ushering in the Year of the Dragon, but Chinatown seems more vibrant than ever.
The climax of all the festivities will be, of course, the annual Chinese New Year's parade, this year scheduled for Saturday evening, Feb. 11.
I recently updated by Chinatown travel app for iPhones, iPads and iPods, adding a few new restaurants. Two are especially wonderful if you like spicy food: The Potsticker on charming Waverly Place and Z&Y in the middle of one of the best blocks for eating in Chinatown, Jackson Street between Grant and Kearny.
You may have walked by The Potsticker over the years and dismissed it as a tourist spot. But last year it was taken over by new management (with staff from Z&Y). Head for the house specials such as filet of sole and any of the "Hot and Numbing Spice Pots," which you can ask to be prepared less fiery. The delectable and not-hot smoked tea duck is excellent.
Z&Y's fiery "explosive" chicken
The Potsticker's smoked tea duck
Z&Y restaurant also specializes in hot Szechuan fare. Try the kung pao bean curd with soft homemade tofu sprinkled with peanuts and onions. The signature dish is Chicken with Explosive Chile Pepper, an eye-catching plate that has diners digging through mounds of chile peppers to get to crisp juicy morsels of chicken (which are, amazingly, not very spicy). I loved the Tan Tan noodles, silky homemade noddles tossed with minced pork and vegetables. But there's so much more on the menu to explore.
For my updated Chinatown app, click here and look at iTunes for the download.
Gung Hay Fat Choy!
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