I might get lynched for this.
Oh, I will get lynched for this.
It's not really a fair statement, since my dim sum experiences in LA are limited. I went to Empress Pavilion in Chinatown once; to two places in the real Chinatown (San Gabriel Valley), both of which I cannot recall because at the time, I was a princess and thought dim sum was unsanitary; less than a half-dozen places in Chinatown, Jr. (Rowland Heights), all of which were good, but it's just way too far to drive when you're hungover on Sunday afternoon; and of course, everyone's westside favorites, Royal Star Seafood, which was recently shut down permanently because I guess that's what happens when your food is that fookin' rawkin'!!!11!, and VIP Harbor Seafood, which is such an embarrassment to Chinese food that it makes me want to call up Bai Ling and go to P.F. Chang's. Ooops. That's an exaggeration, or what we wanna-be writers would call... Hy...Hyp...? Hypocritical, because i have never hesitated about eating there, and only hated myself afterward for being soft-core.
It's not that I have expert knowledge in the dim sum offerings of San Francisco, either. However, I might go so far as to say that I was introduced to dim sum while I was in college, which means my virgin voyage on the clanging metal carts happened while I was in the Bay Area. I went to dim sum a couple of times with a *coughcough* boy when I was in Berkeley (are you reading this? yes, you! lol!) and neither of those experiences were in the city, C-town (as he called it) or otherwise. We had dim sum at a restaurant on the water with a view of the Bay, though I don't remember the exact name. Something, I'm sure, with this formula: Ocean/Sea/Royal/Anything that Sounds Like Water + Star/Empress/Princess/Anything that Sounds like Young Female Royalty + Seafood. It was fancy. Impressive. I shan't go into detals, but dim sum with him was always "the morning after. " ;)
I did, yes, go to Yank Sing in the City a couple of times, but those were occasions long after college, when I was on travel assignments in the Bay area. That meant I was working. That meant I was wearing blouses and slacks. Not "clothes," but slacks. Creased-cuffed-dry-clean-only-conservative-charcoal-grey-or-black slacks. That meant I was on my best corporate fucking badass professional behavior so that I could impress my bazillion bosses – team leader, project manager, program director, operations manager, managing director, and who knows, maybe even the CEO was looking at my utilization rates!!!! – all in hopes of earning a whopping 1% pay increase and an invitation to the summer golf classic with the Partners. I don't remember anything about Yank Sing because all things associated with that time of my life, I have selectively obliterated from my memory.
I also burned all my slacks. (I don't know why I have to emphasize "slacks." I just have to. Slacks.)
Yank Sing is kind of like that. It's "corporate." It's big and famous and it's a place you'd take your project team when you're the only Asian-looking person and every one else is from Idaho and wants a complete "San Francisco Experience." That's not to say that Yank Sing is bad, but that's what you have to expect. If you're wearing slacks at Yank Sing, you won't feel out of place. But you don't have to wear slacks. Thank God. I wore jeans.
We were going to Yank Sing to meet Jason. Yes, Jason again. Jason, to whom you casually mentioned that “we should do dim sum, sum time, dis weekend.” Jason, whom, when you finally wake up on Sunday “Holy-shit!-oops-it’s-Sunday-I-meant-'crap!'-it’s-already-after-1:00!” afternoon, then drag your sorry, but very swollen body out of the aftermath, you call because you sort of recall mentioning dim sum to him. Jason, who, when you do call, already made a reservation. Three days ago when you mentioned it. At Yank Sing.
Every girl should be so lucky as to have a Jason in her life. Get back! He’s mine! Go find your own Jason! Alhtough I'd be willing to share him, for a good cupcake. ;)
Yank Sing has two locations. The main location on Stevenson Street is closer to Chinatown, where they re-built themselves after their original location burned to a crisp (but don't quote me on that). We went to the restaurant located at 101 Spear, inside the Rincon Center, which looks like an office-retail hybri-lding. Seven days a week, Yank Sing serves dim sum in their enormous dining room, and even has a small Yank Sing 2 Go sideshow that slings dim sum to people who just wanna grab their goods and go. I am guessing that Yank Sing 2 Go does quite a bit of take-it-back-to-my-cubicle-and-snort-dumplings-while-grinding-out-spreadsheet-macros business during the week. They've probably got a loyal office audience during the week, but it is on the weekends when Yank Sing really shines. It is so crowded that the entire operation spills out from their already fairly enormous dining room into the atrium of the Rincon Center and takes over the entire space. According to their website, this space has the capacity for 1,000 people. Keep that in mind for your next Wedding Banquet.
101 Spear Street (@ Mission)
San Francisco, CA 94105
49 Stevenson Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
** a year ago today, patience was not a virtue with a lemon tart **