660 Howard St, San Francisco, CA | Directions 9410537.785812 -122.399732
Neighborhoods: Central East, South Beach
House of Nanking's stylish sister restaurant in SoMa. – This SoMa Chinese spot, from the same family behind the North Beach institution/tourist trap House of Nanking, is a suped-up, spacious, modern version of that beloved but cramped and bare-bones spot. Swirly bamboo lanterns cast an orange glow on a crowd of mostly SoMa locals and the occasional swarm of Moscone Center conventioneers sitting at sleek tables for an atmosphere that's like a less trendy, Chinese version of Osha. The first third of the menu is composed of greatest hits from House of Nanking, with the rest in the same vein—crowd-pleasing but far-from-authentic Chinese--with several hits and misses; try the fried, tender, large-squid calamari or salt and pepper shrimp, but skip the overly sweet and salty Mongolian beef. Also like Osha, there's a full bar and a list of specialty cocktails, though the smart money's on the well-priced beer ($4) and sake (one 700ml bottle of decent stuff is only $13).
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