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By Michael Bauer

Annie Ho owned the popular Hong Kong Lounge but stepped aside five years ago so she could open a smaller place that allows her to keep closer tabs on the food and service. In so doing, she’s created one of the best Chinese restaurants in the Bay Area for either dim sum or the nighttime menu of Hong Kong specialties. On many days and nights, you can find her surveying the dining room from a podium centered in the rear. While dim sum is generally a daytime delicacy, Ho also offers many of the most popular items at night, listed as “Asian tapas,” including crispy salt and pepper soft-shell crabs, steamed shrimp dumplings, crispy spiced quail with lily buds, and braised pork belly with steamed buns. The kitchen also shines with its dinner items, including free-range roasted chicken; wok-fired sliced lamb with yellow chives; and pan-fried sea bass in ginger soy. There are some unexpected offerings, such as snow peas and mushrooms with macadamia nuts, clam meat ramen noodle with crab, and coffee-glazed pork ribs.

Michelin releases 2018 Bib Gourmand restaurants for Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 5, 2017 – Michelin today revealed a list of 67 restaurants in the greater San Francisco area that received its highly regarded Bib Gourmand designation. These restaurants offer excellent food at a reasonable price and are included in the upcoming 2018 edition of the MICHELIN Guide San Francisco.


By Michael Bauer

In the past several years this Chinese restaurant has become one of the most popular stops for dim sum, but it’s just as good at night, when Hong Kong seafood specialties star. Owner Annie Ho once owned Hong Kong Lounge but stepped aside so she could open a smaller place to exercise better control of the food and service. Diners can often see her or a manager standing at a lectern in back, observing the goings on in the upscale dining room. Dim sum items, listed as “Asian tapas,” are available at night. You can also get such items as the popular minced chicken in lettuce cups, but the kitchen shines on the more unusual offerings such as sauteed surf clams with Asian greens; whole abalone and pea shoots in oyster sauce; and salt-and-pepper rex sole with its thin, delicate coating.

Hong Kong Lounge II: Success in quest for great Chinese food

Michael Bauer

Monday, April 28, 2014

Hong Kong Lounge II

May 9, 2014 | Updated: May 10, 2014 11:56pm

Annie Ho owned the popular Hong Kong Lounge, but she decided it was too big and sold her interest to open this much smaller restaurant where she can control the food and service. The brick-colored dining room with dark wood screens at the large windows has a clean, cared-for look. You can almost always see the owner observing the staff and the food coming out of the kitchen. The young servers all wear ties and are efficient and friendly, and often offer to serve communal items. Most people head here for dim sum, but the dinners can be a delight.


Michelin 2015 Bib Gourmand Unleashed! See the Winners

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

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Coqueta, Chino, Kin Khao, and Iyasare are among the newbies to notch a spot.

With the stars set to drop next week, the Michelin Guide is building a little anticipation by announcing the winners of the Bib Gourmand, their award for the best moderately-priced restaurants. This year, 76 spots in the greater Bay Area earned the prize. Several of them debuted this year, including Chino, Coqueta, The Farmer & The Fox, Iyasare, Kin Khao, and Michel Bistro; others returned to the fold after having been forced to temporarily close (Great China, China Village) or finally shining after years in the trenches (Anchor Oyster Bar, Grace's Table, Hong Kong Lounge II, Z & Y).

While Michelin dropped only four restaurants from the list last year, this year was something of a bloodletting, with 14 getting cut. The chopped spots were Artisan Bistro, Boon Eat + Drink, Burma Superstar (!), Chu, Crouching Tiger, Cucina Paradiso, Ebisu, Hachi Ju Hachi, Marlowe (!!), Old Mandarin Islamic, Osteria Coppa, Regalito, The Slanted Door (!!!), and Slow Club. Three shuttered spots (Happy Noodles, Plum, and Sana Marin) were also cut.