Almost three years after it was announced, China Live is about to open its (massive) doors in Chinatown, really!
“I know it doesn’t look like it’ll be ready, but it never does,” says George Chen. We’re in an elevator somewhere between the second and third floors of China Live, the Chinese-food megaplex he announced to great fanfare in 2014. On a late-January morning almost two years after it was supposed to open, the four-level, 30,000-square-foot space is still very much a construction site, but one that Chen swears up and down will debut with a grand party in late February. Otherwise, he says, “we wouldn’t put out an invitation, which is being sent out to all the socialites.”
Should Chen’s plans come to fruition, the socialites will have much to behold when China Live opens its doors on Broadway and unleashes its grand ambitions upon Chinatown. There will be a massive ground-floor marketplace replete with dumplings, dim sum, noodles, charcuterie, pastries, Peking duck, and teas that Chen says he personally climbed the mountains of Taiwan and China to source. There will be a second-floor fine-dining restaurant called Eight Tables—a “Benu kind of experience,” Chen says—where he and his chefs will serve delicacies like chrysanthemum salad with jellyfish and Taiwanese three-cup chicken made with confited Cara Cara oranges. There will be a lounge called the Golden Mountain that will evoke Chinatown’s “glamour years, when Frank Sinatra used to go to the clubs,” Chen says. There will be a third-floor kitchen just for banquets, an event space with an oval skylight, and possibly an omakase restaurant behind smoked glass, because why not. There will be no fewer than five bars where, China Live beverage director Duggan McDonnell reports, there will be “a lot of custom stuff happening.”… – San Francisco Magazine (02.23.17)