Inspiring food at bargain prices? What more could you ask for? Not much, which is exactly what you will get at this no-frills Chinatown hideout Chef ... More
Chef Jia's Restaurant
Inspiring food at bargain prices? What more could you ask for? Not much, which is exactly what you will get at this no-frills Chinatown hideout Chef Jia's. Bring a few bucks, a hearty appetite, and the ability to keep a secret from tourists mobbing the neighboring House of Nanking. You will come to enjoy the food, not the decor, though. It has the usual selection of Chinese items on the menu, but Chef Jia's wok is legendary among the faithful. The heaping lunch special that comes in at right around $5 is served with a cup of addictive hot and sour soup and is downright charitable at that price. The service is brisk.
If you want cheap and yummy chinese food, Chef Jia's is the place to eat. There was a line next door for the much hyped Nanking, but we sat right down at Jia's.
It has very low key decor, nothing fancy. The food is delicious, I highly recommend the Lover's Prawns and the sweet and sour chicken. The hot and sour soup is also very good. Didn't like having to pay almost $2 for a can of diet coke and a plastic cup of ice, but other than that, very reasonable.
It is so easy to over order here, the portions are huge. One entree and a side of rice is enough for two people. Add an appetizer of egg rolls or gyoza if you're really hungry.
I have a soft spot for hole-in-the-wall looking places with great food and Chef Jia's delivers.
Honey Chili Chicken, Spicy Orange Peel Beef, and Five Spices Duck all excellent. The big, juicy house-made Pot Stickers could be a meal in themselves. Everything has always been terrific. I make a better Hot & Sour Soup, but still very good.
There are two wait staff (neither is the chef/owner). The man is taciturn, admittedly, but gets the job done. The woman is a solid 18%+ tip, always.
Reasonable prices, especially for the quality.
One of my favorite places to go when I visit San Francisco. Each time I travel back to Cali (3000 miles) I make sure that I go back and visit this place. The food is memorable and cannot stand some of the Chinese food served in my region of the United States.. It was just so totally different from what I am used to and very very good.. Great staff. Makes you feel welcome when you go there. Most restaurants in SF, that is hard to find.
Chef Jia's is one of my favorite chinese food places to eat. On one hand, I feel it's not fair that the place next door has long lines when the food here is just as good, if not better. On the other hand, it's nice to not have to wait to get my food. Jia himself comes off as the silent cranky type, but I think that's just his personality with a little cultural misunderstanding. His wife is very friendly. I usually order the Honey Chili Chicken, but that's not the only great item on the menu.
Chef Jia came highly recommended but did not meet expectations. The waiter, who appeared to be the owner, was so surly and argumentative I almost expected a film company to pop out and tell us this was a take off on Candid Camera or Borat. Alas it was all real. Our party of five was literally browbeaten into ordering what the server advised and within three minutes of sitting down. It seemed like they wanted our relatively large party out of their very small restaurant. Some of the dishes were quite good but most were very bland and uninspired. The egg rolls were the worst I have ever tasted and done in a very non-traditional way. The decor/ambience is poor and uncomfortable even for a Chinatown establishment. With all the possible choices, I advise avoiding this inexplicably recommended restaurant. My advice - Brandy Ho.
A coworker and I were in SF for a convention and wanted to try a restaurant in China Town. I read a good review about Chef Jia's and we ended up deciding to go there. It is on the edge of China Town, so you almost think you've wandered out. It is a small place with little decor or ambiance, but the food ended up being awesome. I tried the Honey-Chili Prawns (sweet but spicy tangerine sauce). My buddy had Chicken w/ Black Bean Sauce. As an appetizer we decided on the Fried Squid (comes with a peanut butter dipping sauce). All of it was fresh and fantastic. We were really pleased with lucking onto this place. The only caveat is that they only take cash. So, treat yourself by stopping by this great restaurant, but make sure to hit the ATM first. =)
I used to work in North Beach in the mid-90s and Jia's was one of my favorites each week for lunch. The honey chili chicken is simple, but entirely unique and tasty. They seem to be bad at marketing cause House of Nanking gets a disproportionate amount of business for equal quality. For out-of-town guests, I would take them to Jia's as a typical example of good Chinese food that is always consistently yummy. Don't waste time at a tourist trap off of Stockton or Grant...go here.
This is what everyone is really searching for when it comes to taste. Chef Jia's chinese menu is diverse, interesting and flavorful beyond belief. A place for lovers as well as a family with kids. Everything on the menu is what you would expect including a whole array of items you may have never heard of!! The service is fast and efficient. Everyone who works there seems to always be in a good mood. A great way to experience SF the way it is meant to be.
PS. If you love spicy don't miss this place!!!!
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