Following up on my own query about the newish House of Clay Pot,
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William, my mom and I had dinner there last weekend.
It was packed at 8:30pm, filled with young Asian customers. We pointed out to our mother that she was dining with the "in crowd" here. We had less than a 10-minute wait and scored a table off to the side towards the back where it was less noisy and cramped.
The menu says "You can order by number", so I'll provide those here. It also has a few pictures of the dishes.
We started with #A-5, Spiced Gold Pork, $4.50. This was a cold appetizer of head cheese-like pressed pork and ham. It was delicately spiced and had a soft tender texture. This was accompanied by some black vinegar for dipping. My mother said she would have preferred more gelatin and less meat, which is the way she makes it herself, but we liked it very much. We meant to save some to take to our dad except that it somehow disappeared. The kimchee snails on the next table looked intriguing and we'd like to get those next time.
#B-2, Sichuan Style Clay Pot, $6.95, is from the menu section called, "Food in Clay Pot /w" (sic) meaning that you can order those items made with chicken, beef, seafood, or spareribs. It came out wrong the first time, made with mixed seafood, even though the numerical coding was correct. With hacked up pork chops, the meat was moderately tender with a nice firmness to the bite though not tough. The Sichuan style spicing didn't do much for me, as it was neither that hot nor complex. William liked it more than I did, and Mom thought it was too spicy.
My favorite was #C-2, Cured Meat Rice in Clay Pot, $5.95, which is the classic combo, lop mei fan bo jai. The crusting was a little light but at least it was there and had a nice fragrance. The proportions were somewhat top heavy --- loved the waxy bacon --- but better that than the reverse. Pots of seasoned soy sauce are on each table to add yourself. The saucing was quite delectable, not that salty and very nuanced.
We also got one order of #S-1, Daily Soup, $2.50 per person. This time it was dried bok choy with other vegetables, and not a particularly good version. William agreed with me that we like the double-boiled soups at Lee Hou better.
For dessert we had #D-2, Korean Golden Ball (6 pieces), $6.00. What a let down! These were more white rather than golden and dusted with pink sugar crystals. They tasted to me like a cross between boiled meringue and puffed rice cakes, if you can imagine that. William thought they tasted like a yolk-less omelet. Mushy and oily with a touch of rancidity, it was hard to tell what these were meant to be.
Except for dessert, we thought this was a good meal overall and good value. We'd certainly return to try more from the extensive menu.
House of Clay Pot (sic)
5423 Geary Blvd
San Francisco 94121
Mon-Sun, 11am-3pm, 5pm-11pm
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