Saturday, June 27, 2015
Shandong Deluxe Opens Sister Restaurant On Geary; Will It Be Bested By San Dong Best?
I walked in through the open door past the tiki-ish entryway to the newly remodeled San Dong Best restaurant that was formerly Xi An Gourmet (nee San Dong House). "We're not really open yet," said the young male server who greeted me. "But you can order something anyway." There were a couple of other tables with eaters at 2:00 in the afternoon, and I realized I had stumbled into a "friends and family" soft opening.
"Opening day is Monday," said the server, "we'll have new menus then." The menu at San Dong Best will include all, or nearly all of the dishes on the Taraval St. menu (including the Xinjiang dishes, he said) and more. My guess is that at this inner Richmond location, a couple of doors from the fusion-ish new Fajitas Restaurant, they'll be aiming for a slightly more up-market dinner crowd, and I'm eager to see what they come up with for new Shandong-style entrees.
I inaugurated Shandong Deluxe with, the "plain broth" lamb noodles, though I requested wider noodles this time around. It turned out to be nearly identical to the dish I had had in 2012, a subtle, meat-infused broth (possibly born of pork bones) that was neither particularly medicinal nor spicy, just comfortingly unctuous, as lamb soups are wont to be. The noodles were excellent, wabe and chewy (and not skimped on). A couple of the tender lamb chunks had collars of fat on them, but nearly as much as I would like. There were quite a few mushroom slices in the broth, and the obligatory pair of Shanghai bok choi stalks atop. Ob balance, this was definitely an A-team bowl of noodles.
One mystery remains: why do they spell it "Shandong" in the Sunset and "San Dong" in the Richmond?
Where slurped: San Dong Best, 3741 Geary Blvd., San Francisco