Mission Chinese online ordering goes live tonight!

My pro tip with Mission Chinese has always been to go for lunch or order takeout to avoid that 2-hour horribly disorganized wait-list BS. Well starting tonight you’ll be able to place your order online here. Hell, they will even deliver orders over $20.

Go ahead, slam them with more traffic and convince them it was a bad idea.

Update: I think they meant Thursday night. Mission Chinese is closed Wednesdays, as several commenters pointed out.

What’s your first meal of 2013?

Last night after midnight counts.

New Mission Chinese movie encourages diners to be polite to their cooks

Or do they prefer “chef”?  Either way, it’s probably best not to call them a retard, even if you’re a tough gangster dude, because you never know when they may secrete blades from their tattoos and slice up your whole party.  Do yourself a favor and watch this rad video from the folks over at Sunday Paper.

(Thanks Laurie! Via Mission Local)


Faces of Lung Shan

I can’t get over the pictures of the Lung Shan staff from this week’s Vice feature on Mission Chinese Food.

I’ve always been fascinated with the dynamic between these grizzled Chinese cooks and their young, hip, culinary hot-shot restaurant-mates. In case you never bothered to look up at the sign, Mission Chinese Food rents its space from Lung Shan and has essentially taken over. Lung Shan’s menu is now largely ignored.

Mission Chinese chef Danny Bowien mentioned that the owners have operated the restaurant decades and never seemed concerned that business was slow, they just liked having a place to hang out. Sure enough, if you ever go in on a weekday during off-hours you’ll see them sitting at the round table in the back chatting and reading the papers. When you order something off their menu, one of them casually gets up, strolls to the kitchen, and cooks it.

I hear a lot of criticism of Mission Chinese Food from Asian Americans for not being authentic enough, notably from my parents who are restaurant owners themselves. But I don’t think that’s the point. Bowien has always admitted  that he’s still learning to cook Chinese food. Still, it’s clear his fresh approach has struck a chord with a generation that these old-timers could never reach.

Chinese food has sadly taken a turn towards the junk food genre in America, being generalized a cheap take-out experience. Did you know that Panda Express is in the running for the “Best of Milpitas” list in the category of “Best Chinese (overall)”? Shocking. Sometimes it takes an outsider to break out of the mold.

Me? I like both the old and the new. My grandfather was a cook in a restaurant much like Lung Shan while I was a kid. At home, his food wasn’t gourmet, but I’ll never forget such fusion creations as “vienna sausage fried rice” and “fried fish with ketchup”. Not exactly traditional. He also was fond of peanut butter and cheese sandwiches, something that I urge all discerning palates to try.

Sometimes I feel the urge to dust off my shitty 1st-grade-level Cantonese and ask these guys about how they feel about this new crop of oddly-dressed kids dining in their restaurant. But I’m sure they would answer like many folks of their generation do, with a subdued shrug and “business is good.”


Arlo tells us that the photos are by Alanna Hale. More great photos of the Lung Shan gang are on her site and tumblr.

Danny Bowien outraged over Popeye’s Two for Tuesday price hike

Bowien, chef at Mission Chinese Food, remarked that the Popeye’s Two for Tuesday increase (from $1 to $1.29) was “fucking bullshit” on a recent feature on Vice TV, the natural next step up from his Martha Stewart appearance.

Why isn’t the neighborhood in an uproar about this?

Oh if you want, you can see the rest of the episode here. My takeways: we’ve all probably eaten some of Danny’s hair, cleaning a live crab is gnarly as hell, and Spices is about to get some long-ass wait lists.

[via Vice]

Danny Bowien shows Martha Stewart how he slaps his noodle

Check it out: Danny Bowien from Mission Chinese Food was recently on Martha Stewart. I hope that he later invited one of those Lung Shan old-timers in the back out to demonstrate how to stuff a dumpling.

[via YMFY]

Mission Chinese Food Feature on Chow

Chow posted a very long article on Mission Chinese Food.

One point of interest for me was that it describes the fate of the beloved Chinito. My mom’s theory, being a Chinese restaurant owner herself, was: “It was probably just a pain in the ass to make.” However, it turns out the “Chinese Donut” element of the dish had to be purchased in the morning in Chinatown and they just didn’t feel right about serving it after it had been sitting out all day.

Read all about the chefs, their spicy-as-fuck food, their weird relationship with Lung Shan, and more over at Chow.


Oh hey, Chow also has the recipe for Chef Bowien’s Explosive Chicken Wings. They claim it’s better than it’s inspiration, from Chinatown Szechuan joint Z & Y. A bold claim!

Mission Street Food Chefs Reveal the Best Place to Eat in the Mission

Welp, the Mission’s best-kept foodie secret is out.

I loved Popeye’s when it was more underground, but I won’t be able to deal with the crowds now. At least the McDonalds on 24th St. is still untainted. Although, who knows how long that will last.

Get the full scoop and video at Mission Loc@l.


Yeah, we’re a little late to the game, but damn… I think this is the best $8 I have spent on food in recent memory. The newly established Mission Chinese Food’s invention, the Peking Duck Chinito (also comes in Vegan!) is really, really great.

It’s duck confit, crispy skin, cucumber, cilantro, and spicy hoisin sauce. All of this is stuffed in a “chinese donut”, wrapped in rice noodle, then chopped sushi-style. What’s a chinese donut, you ask? I wasn’t sure either but once I saw it, I recognized it as the puffed, oily, bread stick that I would dip in rice porridge or warm soy milk as a kiddo, a food item that was previously known to me as (roughly) “Yao-Jok -Gwai“.

The blending of crispy duck, sweet hoisin sauce, donut, and soft rice noodle was something completely new, but still distinctly familiar. The Chinito might really catch on, and I would not be at all surprised if we see some copycats popping up within a year, much like the Korrito. Get in on the ground floor, folks.

The atmosphere at Lung Shan was interesting to say the least. The older, weathered Lung Shan staff seemed to be casually lounging in the dining area while these youngsters shuffled around their kitchen. Looks like I wasn’t the only one curious about this odd dynamic, as Chow asked about it in this recent article:

I just couldn’t get over the strange-bedfellow relationship of the old-school Chinese restaurant and nouveau Chinese restaurant. I asked Myint, who features a Lung Shan dumpling dish as a kind of homage on his own menu, whether Lung Shan chefs would be “trained” to make items off the Mission Chinese menu, too.

“They don’t really need our training,” he said, pausing to let the ridiculousness of the question sink in. “They’ve actually taught us some things.”

Bonus: The kind server threw in the Szechuan pickles free of charge, thus confirming your suspicion that us orientals hook each other up.


Mission Chinese Food Is Open!