The Local List

Hungry girl looking for the next adventure.

The Secret to Din Tai Fung

So if you haven’t heard of the place yet, you should probably dig yourself out of the hole you have surrounded yourself in.  Din Tai Fung has been in America for a while, but it originated from Taiwan (ya know that non-Chinese Chinese place).  The specialty here is Shanghai dumplings (ironic right?), which are small, soup dumplings usually filled with pork.
Xiao Long Bao

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San Francisco Must Haves!

stuffed french toast from Zazie

So my number one must eat when I visit San Francisco is San Tung.  It is by far my favorite Chinese food in the Bay Area and quite possibly my life.  The original dry fried chicken is the best thing on the menu.  Once you try it, you will crave it FOR-EV-ER. The dumplings are a big hit and any type of noodles.  This place is a little unique because it is a Korean-Chinese family cooking Chinese food so things are a bit different (and spicy), but they still serve beef and broccoli for us white people.

san tung
string beans, “crack” chicken and veggie low mein

As you know, I like brunch.  Like a lot.  So when we needed a spot to have our family reunion in SF we quickly chose Zazie.  As all brunch spots in SF, Zazie is ALWAYS crowded.  However, unlike other spots, it has an outdoor patio that is really cute and comfy and not super loud.  The best part is the food though.  First order yourself a custom mimosa (yes custom – you can add sherbet into it), then find five friends to help you share as many items on the brunch menu as possible.  I highly recommend the stuffed french toast (and this is coming from a girl who doesn’t eat french toast EVER).  If that’s still not your thing get one of the many types of benedicts available.  Tip: the front tables are first come first serve!


There are so many other spots that I personally love in SF: Brenda’s in the Tenderloin, Guerras out in Sunset, Nick’s Tacos in Russian Hill, and Suppenkuch in Hayes Valley are just a few of them…can’t wait for my next visit!

I love dumplings.

Good Chinese food can be hard to find.  And trying a new place, you never know what to expect.  But the first time I walked into 101 Noodle Express, I knew it was authentic and going to be amazing.  You know it’s legit when you are the only white girl in the room.
dan dan noodles

pan-fried dumplings
 Although it IS a chain, we didn’t actually find that out until after we went.  We of course got Dan Dan noodles (their specialty).  Ordered the hand torn noodles and was not disappointed.  My only complaint was that there wasn’t more.
steamed dumplings
 Of course we also got dumplings.  My boyfriend ordered the pork panfried dumplings, and I ordered the steamed pork and leak dumplings.  We each liked the other’s order better.  (Good thing we share.)  The dough was a bit on the heavier side, but the flavors of the pork were pretty spot on.  I totally screwed up (like the white girl I am) and meant to order steamed buns, but got the steamed dumplings instead.  Next time I will get my order right.
steamed buns…they burn the sh*t out of your mouth
This place isn’t anything fancy or special.  It’s cash only, which is a bitch pain.  But it gives me a new spot for some pretty freaking good dumplings (until Din Tai Fung opens.)  And we got all of that food for only $20 – heaven.
4/5 dumplings for what we got.  Can’t wait to try the steamed buns and beef roll.

TGIF and TG for Chinese food.

Thank god it’s Friday.  Especially after the week I’ve had.  It’s the last weekend to celebrate Halloween, first weekend to celebrate Thanksgiving; that means a lot of fattening food people.

This weekend is all about Chinese Food for me.  With one of the best dim sum restaurants in the world opening up next year, its time we got serious about all the different varieties available in the OC.  Here is a list of some of my favorites.

dumplings, chinese

Cheap, Fast, Quick
No I am not talking about your ex, I am talking about A & J Restaurant.  Most people won’t understand that Taiwanese food and your traditional Chinese food are not similar.  The beef noodle soup is one of their best dishes, as well as the Thousand Layer Pancake.  Go in and try something new, it is very authentic and tastes great!

dim sum, chicken feet, chinese


Dim. Sum.
If you haven’t had it, you need to.  And Capital Seafood has the best.  Dim Sum is a brunch time meal, served in Southern China and Hong Kong.  Some items served at this dinning experience are dumplings, BBQ Pork Buns, and chicken feet.  (Don’t worry I wouldn’t eat them either).  My roommate swears by their fried rice with chicken sausage.  Even if you don’t make it for dim sum, the food at dinner is some of the best Chinese food I have had.
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Baked Goods
Now this is a must try for me, but it’s a yelp favorite.  In the heart of Buena Park, there is a little bakery called Micasa.  It has typical baked goods you would find at any bakery, but it also has Chinese pastries and all for a decent price.  Fruit tarts are under a dollar and they even serve don tats (egg custard tarts for newbies). 

Check out these places too: 85C, Seafood Cove #2, and Guppy House.  What’s your favorite spot? I’m dying to try some new places out!

Capital Seafood on Urbanspoon