When is Chinese food not Chinese food?

Okay, on with the food parade. The first thing one notices upon arriving at Taiwan Restaurant is the cooks, folding dumplings in the storefront window. That’s your first clue that you’re in for a treat. Sticking with the house speciality there’s the steamed and pan-friend dumplings, pot stickers, and a variety of won ton soups. (Pretty much all stuff folded into a wrapper, be it thin pasta or thicker dough.)

Taiwan Restaurant, Clement Street, San Francisco

Is this Chinese cooking? I’m never sure which groups and nation-states enjoy being considered part of the People’s Republic. Taiwan is *another* China, and I tell friends and visitors that we’re going out for Taiwanese food (much as I try to remember which places prefer to be thought of as Pakistani rather than Indian).

The dry braised string beans was pretty wonderful, and the more traditional Chinese restaurant fare (ordered by the relatives) was satisfying, mildly spiced when asked. For better or worse, nothing made it to the doggy bag.

The staff are friendly and helpful. Even so, I need to go with a native-speaker; between the dishes I don’t recognise and the scribbled items offered on the walls I think I might be missing something.

Taiwan Restaurant / 445 Clement St. @ 6th Ave. / +1.415.387.1789

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