The Chinese Cuisine Scene
If you like themed food halls like New York’s Eataly, then you’ll adore China Live, San Francisco’s 30,000-square-foot ode to Chinese cuisine.

Created by well-know San Francisco restaurateur and chef George Chen of Betelnut (R.I.P.) fame, China Live is his personal mission to change the way we think about Chinese food. George says he hopes to eliminate the preconceived notions of being a cheap and unhealthy cuisine by spotlighting the fresh-ingredient-driven ethos that has always been at the core of cooking in China.

After years of creation and renovation, China Live’s modern interior centers on the ground floor Market Restaurant, with a bar, tea lounge, and cafe with daily changing menu of Chinese regional specialties prepared in open kitchens. Choose from dumplings, stir fry, rice and noodles, fresh seafood, Chinese charcuterie and barbecue and other delights. Diners are treated to up- close views of cooking styles and demonstrations, including the rare wa guan tang, a giant ceramic slow cooker used for many Chinese recipes.

Upstairs, and only accessible via a back-alley entrance, the upscale Eight Tables by George Chen features an ever-evolving ten-course tasting menu. “It’s time Chinese food takes its place among the world’s great cuisines, and Eight Tables will push Chinese gastronomy to new heights,” he says. There is also a luxurious lounge with views of Chinatown, evoking old Shanghai and serving a lot of single malt Scotch-based cocktails. Eventually there will be a rooftop bar — the cherry on top of a place that lives up to its variety is the spice of life” maxim. –Kimberley Lovato (10.11.17)