2078 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA | Directions 9411737.773463 -122.450654
Neighborhoods: Central North, Northern Park
What a Hidden Gem – Abacus opened shortly after I moved from SF to NJ. After hearing many good words about it, finally I got the chance to visit the restaurant on my trip back this time. My experience there prompted me to write my very first restaurant review.
I totally agree with one of the statements on the site: ?Finally, a chinese restaurant that has both great food and atmosphere.? From the display of a bunch of freshly cut huge peony to the bat man figure holding onto Manhattan Bridge ?ON? the painting on the wall, I got the hint that this restaurant is as much about the details of presentation as that of taste.
For the starter, I ordered the portabella fritter. It has just the right amout of batter so it's crispy but not too hard. The flavor and juice of the mushroom is well retained. The ginger aioli had more than just a hint of ginger. However it wasn?t too spicy at all. I also ordered a hot and sour soup on recommendation from the server. Normally I don?t expect the hot and sour soup to be something that worthy writing home about, but this one definitely reminded me what my mom makes back at home in Shanghai. With lots of bean curd, enoki mushroom, egg and thin and tender slices of pork, it delivered a perfect balance between spicy and sour tastes. It?s definitely the best that I had in the States.
I ordered the sea bass dish for the main course. Again it was superb. The fish was very fresh, juicy and tasteful. It was seared just right so the crust will burst on bite. If there is anything more to be demanded, I would say I prefer the asparagus that comes with the sea bass to be more ?crunchy?. To finish off, I had a generous portion of durain icecream. It was simply excellent.
All in all, I had a wonderful experience at Abacus. The atmosphere was elegant and cozy. The service was prompt and friendly. Most importantly the food was stylish fusion yet authentic. I wish there were such a restaurant in Princeton, where my current home is.
Fine dining experience with moderate prices – Abacus is a neighborhood gem in the north panhandle. The food is excellent, and the service is very attentative. The appetizers are cullinary delights, from the portabello muchroom fritters with ginger aioli to the tuna tar tar. It's difficult to pick the best entree on the menu, because there are so many that sound good. My favorites are salmon in black bean sauce and mongolian beef.. the best I've ever had! Desserts are great, like mango cheesecake and coco banana. mmmm! Overall, a great experience! And at reasonable prices.
great new find – Sublime chinese food in an elegantly modern low key surrounding. A cute little neighborhood eatery. So far I have not gone wrong with any dish. All the food has been extremely fresh and expertly cooked. The mushroom soup is a little piece of heaven. Highly recommend the potstickers. Service was wonderful. Interior decor was pleasantly surprising- modern but not tacky and you will always be greeted by gorgeous fresh flowers.
Abacus! – Finally, a chinese restaurant that has both great food and atmosphere. Please, please, please come eat here so I can continue to have this fabulous restaurant in my neighborhood....
An even mix of traditional and fusion dishes satisfy the local hospital workers and residents at this upscale Chinese eatery. – In Short
Far different from the standard Chinatown joints, this hidden gem in the North Panhandle neighborhood is modern and classy. Playful art adorn the walls, while freshly cut flowers decorate the tabletops. The light wood floors and high ceilings create a bright and cheerful space where diners enjoy such dishes as ahi tuna with fresh mango salsa, bacon-wrapped prawns and fried wontons. Desert features homemade creations, like mango cheesecake and vanilla flan with caramel.
Hidden gem in hayes street! – The service is prompt and impeccable. The food selection is just enough (not too much like most chinese restaurant in china town but not too little). This place will be a big disappointment for those who are expecting General Gao's chicken or Sesame chicken.
The pot sticker was freshly made with spinach stuffed in it. The grilled bacon wrapped prawns were fantastic! Not only you got to eat fresh prawn with bacon but the texture was balanced with a slice of apple stuffed next to the prawns.
The house specials are worth your money! My favorite would be the battered prawns in a tangy sauce with candied walnut. Mongolian beef had sufficient spice but the beef was cut a bit too thinly. For vegetables, I strongly recommended pea sprout with garlic.
Dessert was surprisingly good. Mango mousse cake was not too sweet and we could actually taste the fresh mango.
Good Chinese Comfort – I wandered by Golden Kong on my way to check out Panhandle pizza (which was closed for lunch). They have a large selection of lunch specials for less than $5 each, so I decided to try them out. Its a small restaurant with perhaps 10 tables. The service was fast, and helped with my choice of Hunan Chicken. The lunch soup was a chicken stock base egg drop soup with corn and pepper for spice, it was delicious. The Hunan Chicken was good with an average amount of spice and a nice brown sauce base. Seeing as they are 2 blocks from my house, I'll definately go back.
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