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Restaurants & Bars 2

Taste of Formosa--bunrabs, are you reading?

nooodles | Aug 23, 200501:50 PM

The pictures of brain masala on inspired me to post, because the bunrabs NEED to go to Taste of Formosa. Not for any other reason than that the dish they serve peanuts in has a rabbit on the bottom. I was very surprised when I reached the bottom of the bowl. You must go and add that photo to your collection. And if they give you a rabbit-less bowl, you must demand that they bring it out. And yes, the salted peanuts are crunchy and delicious.

The newish Taiwanese place on Geary near 25th is hip to the hilt. The downstairs is not too exciting, but the upstairs will make you feel like you're in an upscale cafe in Taipei. The Scandanavian Design-inspired furniture, nouveau-Asian dishware, colorful blown glass, IKEA-esque lighting fixtures, flatscreen Panasonic playing Chinese music videos...the works.

Food is good. Not good the way Joy in Foster City is, but good in a "It's about time there was decent Taiwanese within city limits" way. I would say the food is a little better than the now defunct Taiwan Point (I hear they adopted some of the displaced staff?)

The oyster pancake (o ah jian) was much better than Taiwan Point's ever was. The pork's blood soup came out raw in the middle the first time, but the kitchen happily took it back and replaced it with one that was cooked but still tender. Pork chops over rice were underwhelming. Spices I does a better version by far. Oyster noodles (o ah mien xien) were very good. Plenty of oysters, good starchy consistency, strong garlic flavor. Prices are higher than what I'm used to for this kind of food, but it's not unexpected given their monopoly on Taiwanese cuisine. Still, I will be back next time I have an oyster pancake craving.

Other notable dishes on the menu were braised pork over rice (lu ro fan), beef noodle soup (niu ro mien), glutinous rice in sausage casing (nuo mi da chang), and savory soy milk (xien do jiang). I noticed rice stick noodles in soup missing (mi fen tang)--odd for a Taiwanese restaurant. Still, an extensive menu that covers a lot of dishes that are hard to find in SF.

(all phoenetic spellings correspond with Mandarin or Taiwanese--sorry, Cantonese folks!)

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