>> Saturday, February 5, 2011

What does one do after a nice workout and his first “steam” might you ask? Go out for some Chinese food of course. Nothing like a 90 degree room filled with sweaty men to work up a hearty appetite. My friend’s parents were the ones treating me out so I was up for anything. His dad had a craving for this place in particular since it’s a family favorite. Apparently the owners used to have another location further downtown as well, but that location did not do as well and closed up.

Admittedly I had some high expectations when walking into this place. The awards and articles were clearly posted in the doorway. Plus the setting gives off an upscale feeling and atmosphere. The place is decorated with a lot of glass, and I mean a LOT. Glass counters, glass sculptures, glass table tops, decorative glass bottles, etc. The place literally looks almost like a giant fish tank with a metal lining on some of the walls. Rather amusingly the bathroom has the same glass theme except with a rainforest theme going on.

We were greeted and shown to a table right away. The service is prompt and friendly to just about anyone. I quickly glanced through the menu since it seemed as if everyone knew what they wanted already. I went with the Mongolian lamb lunch special. After a few minutes of chatter about how school was going, they waiter came with four hot bowls of hot and sour soup that came with our rice plates. The soup had all the typical ingredients, some mushrooms, bamboo shoots, and a generous amount of egg. The flavors were pretty subtle, not as spicy as I am typically used to in other restaurants. There was also a slight bit an oddly placed sweetness to the soup. Nonetheless, it was a good way to warm up to a meal.

My plate came a little while after everyone else still steaming from the heat of the wok. My rice was pressed into a dome shape. The lamb was cut into bit sized pieces, stir fired with red peppers, onions, and bound together in soy based gravy. On the sides were orange slices for before, after, or in between. I slowly mixed in the topping with the rice while I ate the dish making sure to utilize all the gravy. The lamb was extra tender and the veggies had just the right bite to it. The chow wok chef in the back knows what he’s doing and shows his experience. Afterward the check came with a set of crispy and fresh tasting fortune cookies. I’ve had my fair share of stale ones that really end up ruining a good meal.

The meal was just filling enough and made a pretty good deal for under $10 per person. I wouldn’t say it’s the best deal in the city, but the food is definitely worth a try if you’re in the neighborhood. The style is definitely catered more towards an American taste than anything. The whole place definitely has a westernized feel and is by far cleaner than most typical Asian restaurants. I’d go back to see what they offer for dinner.

2877 California St
(between Broderick St & Divisadero St)
San Francisco, CA 94115
Neighborhoods: Pacific Heights, Lower Pac Heights
(415) 621-4819
Eliza's on Urbanspoon


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