Potstickers, Wonton Soup, Asparagus Beef
Occupation: Event Planner
Favorite Restaurant: Eric’s
Reviewed Eric’s: Saturday, December 31, 2005
I started going to Eric’s about ten years ago and I have loved it ever since. We will drive from Livermore to San Francisco just to have Eric’s, it’s that good. Anytime we are in San Francisco and have out-of-towners with us, we take them to Eric’s and I have never been let down. I know that I will have a great meal when I go there, from the fresh vegetables to the choice meats, this is the best Chinese food in San Francisco. It is always a good idea to go a little early to Eric’s, because the place fills up very fast. There is always a very nice mix of people from couples to families. Just about every time we have been there, there have been children eating with their parents.
Two of the stand-out dishes that Eric’s serves are, the Five Taste Chicken and the Walnut Prawns. The Five Taste Chicken alone is worth the drive from Livermore to San Francisco. At first glance, you think you are being served sweet and sour chicken, because that is what it looks like. But upon your first bite, you realize that this is WAY better then dumb old sweet and sour chicken! There are large pieces of white meat chicken that have been fried and mixed in a sauce that defies description. There is a flavor of citrus, sweet sauce, pineapple, cinnamon, and much more. Anyone who goes to Eric’s must order the Five Taste Chicken. As for the Walnut Prawns, they are a group favorite. It is served in a fried potato basket, and the prawns are battered and fried and served in a rich white mayonnaise-type sauce. We call these “Walnut-go-straight-to-your-thighs-Prawns.” Some of my other favorites are, Mu Shu Pork, Eric’s Fried Rice, Eric’s Chow Mein, and Asparagus Beef.
There is no need to shy away from the seafood entrees, because although the group did not have them on this trip to Eric’s, I can say from past experiences that anything with scallops in it has been wonderful! Parking around Eric’s can be a little tricky, the key is to drop someone off to put your name in, as you drive around looking for a parking spot. The J Church train drops you off at the front door pretty much. If you love Chinese food and think you have tried them all, you need look no further than Eric’s on Church Street. Just don’t tell everyone, I would like to get a seat the next time I go!
Location: Los Altos
Favorite Restaurant: Dishdash
Reviewed Eric’s: Wednesday, December 28, 2005
I loved the buttery yellow walls, tasteful antique Chinese furniture, and flower-filled décor. I also liked the relaxed, yet relatively formal, setting of tables with white linen tablecloths and napkins. It felt homey, comfortable, vibrant, and colorful (yellow, red, pink, white, and dark brown). I would recommend sitting in one of the corner tables, so you can watch light neighborhood traffic and people walking by. Service was crisp, efficient, and deceptively attentive. Waiters were constantly roaming/watching to anticipate customer needs.
While driving to the restaurant, I had cravings for familiar Chinese dishes, like spicy noodles and chicken with cashew nuts. But after seeing Eric’s menu and the chef’s specials, I ordered ALL items from that list.
Appetizer: Eric’s Cakes: Light dough (thicker than puff pastry, but lighter than samosa dough) nicely fried and generously filled with scallions and garnished with peanut sauce. Very nice, light taste — a true appetizer that’s not too filling. Diamond cut presentation.
Sesame Beef: Aged beef deep-fried and coated with dark brown sesame sauce; warm spice, but not fiery; satisfies the palate for crispy, chewy food.
Shanghai Chicken: A true standout in the world of Chinese dishes. Perfectly cooked chicken, diced in small but generous pieces. In a lovely “chef’s special” sauce — slightly sweet, tangy, and spicy. Tossed with fried seaweed tableside.
Lamb with Scallions: Generous vegetables in this dish; standard brown sauce; average but not unusually good.
Mango Beef: Ripe, sweet mangos in this dish; red onions add crisp and crunch; standard brown sauce; average but not unusually good.
Portions were very generous, quality of food was good to excellent, and atmosphere is slightly upscale without being overly formal — all these factors make this restaurant a good value. I would recommend this restaurant to friends and I would return here. Combination of nice atmosphere, food, colorful decor, prompt, no-nonsense and attentive service, and affordability left me a very satisfied diner.
Occupation: Territory Manager for New York State
Location: San Francisco
Favorite Restaurant: The Blue Plate
Reviewed Eric’s: Tuesday, January 3, 2006
I went to Eric’s on a dreary evening — the rain was coming down in sheets and the idea of good Chinese food hit the spot. Having never eaten at Eric’s, I was excited to see why so many people sing accolades of this little Chinese restaurant tucked away in Noe Valley.
Krisztina and I arrived in a brightly lit, inviting, yet simply designed room, to find that we were the second table of the evening. We were quickly greeted and served water. Both Kris and I ordered a Wente Cabernet while reviewing the menu. She decided to start with the Crab Rangoon and I ordered the Pot Stickers. The Crab Rangoon is a deep-fried dumpling filled with crab and cheese. Kris loved it, but I found it to be very creamy; too much so, in fact. The Potstickers were fabulous, crispy on the outside, soft dough on the inside and stuffed with the best ground pork mixture I have ever had in a potsticker.
While we were finishing our apps, we ordered another round of dishes. Krisztina ordered the Imperial Shrimp, a battered fried shrimp that is served with a spicy sauce. The idea of soup on a rainy day seemed so perfect to me that I couldn’t pass it up, so I ordered a small Hot and Sour soup and another round of those lovely Potstickers. The shrimp arrived steaming hot and smelling of spicy sauce, although I don’t typically enjoy shrimp, I thought these were great. For me, it was the sauce that tied it all together. While Kris was enjoying her shrimp, I served some soup. Now, hot and sour soup is s a simple dish, but for some reason difficult to make perfectly. Eric’s delivered. This was the perfect balance of flavors and actually encouraged me to order another soup, the Wonton Soup. This arrived with a clear broth, dumplings that were silky in texture, and fresh crisp vegetables. I will say that the Wonton Soup was my favorite dish of the meal and the perfect soup for a dreary day.
In the end, I will say that Eric’s is amazing Chinese food at an incredibly reasonable price. I cannot wait to return.