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2877 California Street (between Divisadero St. & Broderick St.)
San Francisco 94121
Hunan and Mandarin
Pluses: Fresh, healthy Chinese food in a cheery setting
Minuses: Servings can be small
Don't Miss : Ostrich with Chinese Garlic or Mango, Sauteed Prawns with Jasmine Tea
Overview: Open for lunch and dinner daily
Credit cards accepted
Eliza's turns out Hunan and Mandarin dishes with an emphasis on fresh ingredients and healthy preparation methods. You won’t find greasy noodles or soggy veggies here. You will find plenty of standard Americanized Chinese fare—Beef with Broccoli, Sweet and Sour Pork, Lemon Chicken—all competently prepared. Even the Chow Mein—brimming with crunchy fresh vegetables plus juicy chunks of pork and chicken and plump shrimp—is worth the trip.
But it’s the more inventive dishes that draw the crowds: Ostrich with Mango (a lighter version of the popular Mango Beef); Sunflower Seed Chicken, which comes with endive fronds intended for scooping up the chunks of spicy chicken dotted with crunchy sunflower seeds; sautéed prawns with an unusually delicate sauce scented with jasmine tea; Shanghai Chicken served on a bed of crispy, salty fried seaweed.
Eliza’s food is artfully presented and always satisfying, though a far cry from “real” Chinese food. Purists will want to stick to more authentic places, but if you’ve got a pang for Chinese food prepared with a light hand in a pleasant atmosphere, head to Eliza’s.