Green Onion Pancake, Bitter Melon Pork Stir-fry, “A Happy Family Special” (Coconut Walnut Prawns with Sesame Seeds and Cantaloupe)
Occupation: African High Priest, Musician, MUNI Driver
Location: San Pablo
Favorite Restaurant: Red Jade
Reviewed Red Jade: Friday, November 28, 2008
Upon entrance, one notices that the walls are painted red. Red symbolizes prosperity, and jade is a favorite precious stone that is believed to bring longevity within the Chinese culture.
The portion size was VERY adequate; the quality of the food deserves an “A” letter grade. This restaurant served the meal on top of both shredded lettuce and honeydew melon. I’ve had this dish at many restaurants before, and it is always served upon abed of shredded lettuce, but never with honeydew. I thought it a tantalizing mixture of hot (the shrimp), and cold (the honeydew melon). It immediately brings to mind the ying-yang within the Chinese culture — the proper balance of opposites.
The decor was bland — just three wall hangings. When I asked the waitress about theme, she just replied, “Oh, they’re Chinese letters.” When I pressed for more information, she gave me a confused look. The noise level was very low (I’m content), and the food arrival was less than a 10 minute wait. The neighborhood is very safe, MUNI Metro underground is just about 200 feet away. Parking is a bit difficult, so it’s better for one to take the MUNI Transit (22, J , 37, or underground Metro lines M, L ,K). I would return to this restaurant because of the quality of the food, a nice cheap eat, and a BOISTEROUS BANG-FOR-THE-BUCK. I give this restaurant an “A.”
Occupation: Retired School Principal
Favorite Restaurant: Crogan’s Montclair
Reviewed Red Jade: Monday, November 17, 2008
We went for lunch. The restaurant is on an easy to find street in San Francisco where parking is plentiful. Upon entering, I was delighted by the distant soft music and the wonderful decor. The walls were mustard, tomato, and a wonderful light lime. The other diners were a joyful hodgepodge of businessmen, local workers, out-of-towners, and the rainbow of races and ages. This was a Monday at noon, and the place was filled; it’s obviously popular. It had wonderful energy.
Our order was taken, and the food delivered in a most timely manner. I loved the artful ivory chopsticks. We had the vegetarian delight and the asparagus salmon with black bean sauce. Both orders were large and came with soup and a large helping of rice. The vegetables were perfectly cooked — al dente — and the salmon, tasty.
This restaurant will now become one of my favorites, and I can’t wait to return for dinner. It is very reasonably priced, and the food and ambiance is well done. It has a welcome, neighborhood feel that makes you want to know the people and taste all that the restaurant has to offer.
Occupation: Opera Star
Location: San Francisco
Favorite Restaurant: COCO500
Reviewed Red Jade: Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Portion size: Good-sized meal
Quality of food: Surprisingly good, especially the onion pancake; I think it’s the best of any Chinese restaurant in the whole Bay Area. The bitter melon pork was special ordered by me, and it was really like homemade. The pork was extremely tender and tasty; a great combination with the bitter melon, feels very clean.
Service: Very good and fast — the waitress was so accommodating, suggesting food outside of the menu. Very creative.
Décor and atmosphere: Very simple. It looked kind of new and modern with lots of space between tables.
Bang for buck: Reasonable for the Castro area. A little higher than Chinatown.
Comfort: Very comfortable.
Noise level: Moderate
Wait for table: No wait
Food arrival speed: Fast
Parking is little hard on the street; I circled twice before finding a space. I wouldn’t go during the day, but will consider taking my Chinese friends there to taste the pancake. I’m crazy about that pancake. I never thought a Chinese restaurant with English-only menu would have authentic taste, but I was nicely surprised.