Review: Old Mandarin Islamic
(between 42nd Ave & 43rd Ave)
San Francisco, CA 94116
Continuing on the Chronicleâ€™s bargain bites path, I went with a couple friends to check out this restaurant. Did it really qualify for cheap eats, by San Francisco Chinese food standards? We went for a Saturday lunch, it was a nice day, and so we drove way out there to Vicente and the 40s.
- No one else was there. It was high noon. Where were the diners? Hmmm.
- Menus (including take-out menus) were fancy 4-color productions. You donâ€™t want Grubgirl on your board â€“ because for a budget operation, I like to see low expenses. Wow, 4-color menus AND takeout menus are expensive. Also the menus didnâ€™t have little white sticky paper over the prices (which some Chinese restaurants do when they raise prices). This means that prices havenâ€™t been raised in a while, or, GASP, they reprint these expensive menus anytime the prices go up!
I stated to my companions that dishes would be considered expensive if they were over $7. Yep. They were in the high $7+ range.
We ordered black bean noodles (for GSâ€™s hangover), and a dish of beef with sautÃ©ed green beans. To keep the costs down, we didnâ€™t get any rice, considering weâ€™d have enough carbs in the black bean noodles.
I donâ€™t really know that Islamic Chinese food isâ€¦but I guess it means they serve lamb and no pork. The region is in the North, GS said, close to Mongolia.
The food was fine â€“ not overwhelmingly delicious, but satisfying. We quickly finished up our dishes and actually continued to a second lunch at Lam Hoa Thuan. LHT was packed with Asiansâ€¦we realized that weâ€™d found the right spot on the second try.