Where does one eat Chinese on an expense account? Well, it depends on whom you’re trying to impress.
If you want pricey, rare Chinese ingredients, go with a straight-up Cantonese seafood specialist. Good choices are R&G Lounge, Koi Palace, or South Sea Seafood Village. The setting at Koi Palace is particularly nice, though it’s outside the city. You can also opt for a private room upstairs at R&G Lounge. At all these places you’ll find things like abalone and shark’s fin.
If, however, you want a more globalized version of upscale Chinese, for what PegS refers to as “regular SF business folks,” the answer is different. Tommy Toy’s is the consensus top pick. Get a private room, order off the set tasting menu, and enjoy the French take on classic Chinese flavors. Superior service and valet parking, too.
Shanghai 1930, Silks, Yank Sing, or the Mandarin, are other good choices in this category, depending on what you’re after. Go to Yank Sing for expensive dim sum (more lobster than abalone) or to the Mandarin for its great waterside view.
R&G Lounge [Chinatown]
631 Kearny St., San Francisco
South Sea Seafood Village [Sunset]
1420 Irving St., San Francisco