Special Feature: Products Sally Recommends
House of Nanking
919 Kearny Street (near Jackson St.)
San Francisco, CA (415) 421-1429
Cuisine: Cantonese/Hunan/Szechwan Chinese
Pluses: Good food, extremely reasonable prices
Minuses: Usually crowded; long line outside the front door
Don't Miss: Pot stickers, onion cake, kung pao chicken, squid or prawns, eggplant Szechwan style.
Prices: Inexpensive -- entrees range from $4-$8.
Overview: Open for Lunch Monday through Saturday, dinner daily
No reservations accepted
No credit cards accepted
Parking on street or in Portsmouth Square garage
Completely non smoking
What a restaurant! Hundreds of customers daily cannot be wrong! And that is my only complaint about the House of Nanking. It is so popular, so good and so inexpensive that you might just have to wait in a long line before you are seated. Then the fun really begins. Because you are sitting practically on top of your next door table mates, you can converse about the dishes at will. Service is brisk and no-nonsense -- and orders are delivered quickly. This is a festive atmosphere for the adventurous.
The minuscule kitchen is in the restaurant window, in full view of the patrons who choose a counter seat. To get an education in minimalist behavior, sit here at least once.
On my many visits to the House of Nanking, I have never been disappointed by a dish. Whether it is hot and spicy that you desire (hot and sour soup, kung pao squid, twice cooked pork or a whole Hunan chili fish) or more usual Cantonese fare such as chow mein, you won't leave hungry. Other favorites are the mu-shui dishes of vegetables, beef, chicken, pork or shrimp.