China Live in San Francisco

by Brian Lee
China Live in San Francisco

Three years in the making, this 30,000 sqft ode to Chinese food opened its doors in March, 2017.  The complex is on Broadway between Stockton and Columbus in San Francisco.

China Live Market

On the left side of the main floor is the retail market featuring tableware, cooking tools, and a curated selection of fancy ingredients (like varieties of soy sauce aged in whisky barrels).  You’ll also find a broad selection of fine teas.

The right side of the main floor is the Market Restaurant, a 120 seat restaurant serving a selection of dim sum, Chinese BBQ, noodles, salads, soups, stir fry, and much more.  The menu changes daily.  I took a seat at the bar in front of the hot kitchen.

China Live kitchen

The first think I noticed was how quiet the kitchen was!  I’m accustomed to cooks yelling to one another in Chinese and the clanging of ladles in woks, but not here.  It was so civilized!  I ordered 3 items.

Crispy top pork bun

Crispy Topped Pork Buns were baked and topped with a sweet, crunchy top.  Inside was house roasted char sim made from kurobuta pork.  They were pretty good, but I prefer the traditional steamed variety.  Next up was Xaio Long Bao, the famous soup dumplings.

Xiao long bao

These were quite good!  Lastly, I tried the Vegetarian Pot Stickers.

Pot Sticker

These were huge!  The most noticeable thing about the dumplings is the precision with which everything was chopped.  Everything was cut extremely fine and delicately uniform.  I left thinking that “precision” was the attribute most obvious to me about the ambiance and the execution of the food.

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