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RESTAURANT OF THE WEEK
A PERSONAL REVIEW OF RESTAURANTS AROUND THE WORLD

GOLDEN DRAGON
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

When we first moved to the Golden Gate City in 1979 there was still a buzz in town about a massacre that had occurred at the Golden Dragon restaurant in Chinatown.  Out of curiosity, we tried the place.  But it was the outstanding dim sum that kept us coming back time and again.  And we still go there to this day when we're in town.

Dim sum is extremely popular with Asian people, especially on a Saturday or Sunday morning.  It's more or less a buffet on wheels.  Numerous women roll small carts around throughout the restaurant and each cart specializes in one or two items.  One might be loaded with small plates, each containing 3 barbecued ribs.  Another cart might be loaded with small steamer baskets, each containing shrimp dumplings.  Yet another cart might feature won ton fried shrimp.  You get the idea, right?  And of course, you'll sip copious amounts of wonderful green tea.

You sit at your table, nurse your tea, read the newspaper and then watch as a cart approaches.  They don't speak English unless you have a question about the bill!  But they'll usually pause briefly to see if there's any interest.  Just point at the item you want, and you'll get your little plate.

Your bill is figured on the basis of how many "spent plates" remain stacked up on your table.  Some are more expensive than others but overall, it's a pretty good deal.

Aficionados usually spend at least two hours for dim sum and the Golden Dragon has some really large tables making for a fun time for big families.  And the restaurant is huge with several floors of dining pleasure.

After your dim sum treat, work off some of those spare pounds you've just piled up by cruising through the streets of Chinatown.  Be sure to go into the little stores.  They've got great deals on curios and Chinese items like teapots and woks.  In fact, would you believe that we still have the same high carbon wok in use today that we bought out there in 1979?  I screwed it up a few years ago.  I cooked up some bouillabaisse and the acid from the tomato base took off all the "seasoning."  High carbon woks get black with years of cooking and that black is good and makes them pretty much non-stick.  My wife is still mad at me over that foul-up although we've got another layer of good seasoning back on it now.

The Golden Dragon is located in the heart of San Francisco's vibrant and bustling Chinatown.  Their address is 816 Washington Street not far from the gate to Chinatown at Grant and Bush.  We've never made reservations but if you'd like to call them it's (415) 398-3920.