it is to find really good Chinese food? Especially when much of your time is spent away from major cities. Even my favorite food city—Lafayette, LA—has a serious vacuum when it comes to Chinese cuisine. So, when Chuck’s cousin Barbara offered to drive us back to San Francisco for an experience to be covered a couple of days from now, we asked if a visit to Hunan Home’s could be added to the day’s activities.
"’The Hunan craze in SF hit in 1976,’ says Full Noodle Frontity's Gary Soup, ‘with Tony Hiss' rave review in The New Yorker of the original Hunan Restaurant on Kearny Street.’ Hunan Home's, like Henry's Hunan and dozens of other Bay Area restaurants, dates back to that period, and spicy regional Chinese dishes soon became absorbed into Chinese American cuisine…”
(Jonathan Kauffman at sfweekly.com).
But we did add the pot stickers. Hunan Home’s are among the best anywhere—thin and tender wrappers encasing a pork filling and fried until the bottom becomes crusty.
Then we moved on to our four entrées (Yes, four entrées for the three of us.). The Tai Chin Chicken with diced chicken sautéed with black mushrooms and bamboo shoots in a hot and spicy sauce was the one item that didn’t work for me.
The second entrée was the String Bean A La Hunan—dry stir-fried beans with garlic and minced pork.
We have ordered these at all of our trips to Hunan Home’s, and this was the best yet. The beans had the requisite “puckered” look from the dry frying, but were still crisp-tender. And coating the beans was a spicy sauce that contained little bits of almost dry pork that developed a deeply intense flavor.
Our third choice was the Hunan Spiced Garlic Beef with baby corn, celery, snow peas, and mushrooms.
It being “too rich” is one description with which Chuck and I would concur. It was a couple of days after our Hunan Home’s visit and before I found Ms. Pham’s blog that we discussed how the prawn dish was perfect when you had a table of people and could share. A whole plate of these—no matter how delicious and how well prepared—would be more than one person could eat.
I started by saying that good Chinese food is hard to find. So after our 5.0 Addie early dinner, we are off for another Chinatown stop.
To review the role of Adler, Kitty Humbug, and the Addie rating system, read the November 14, 2011 blog.