My wife and I will be traveling to China for the first time as part of a large concert tour group performing in Shanghai and Beijing this summer prior to the Olympics. There's a mix of group meals and on-our-own meals in both cities.
Where would be good places to go in the Bay area to get more exposure to good Shanghai- and Beijing-style food before we go? We tend to go to restaurants with a Sichuan, Hunan, Hakka, or Taiwan focus. I'd like to have more experience with Shanghai and Beijing regional food before the trip.
We're in Silicon Valley so restaurants in this area are preferred, but San Francisco is fine for something really special. Menus need to be available in English, either transliterated or translated. Restaurants that avoid offering their specialties to non-Chinese will not be a good match for us.
So far we've tried Everyday Beijing in San Mateo (and enjoyed the Beijing-style dishes more so than the Shandong-style dishes) and we've had XLB at Yank Sing. So we have a long way to go to get chow-ready for this trip. I'm already tracking the Chowhound XLB posts, but more general Shanghai- and Beijing-style recommendations would be great.
Thanks for your suggestions!