San Francisco Dining: Koi Palace

March 21, 2008

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Koi Palace at Serramonte Plaza
365 Gellert Ave
Daly City, CA 94015
(650) 992-9000

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After getting off a five and a half hour plane ride from Newark and arriving at San Francisco, I got the rental car and picked up my colleague, Cheryl, also just arriving from Cleveland, who would be joining me that week for training in the Silicon Valley area. Both of us were absolutely starving. It was only 4PM, but for us, it was dinnertime.

Knowing that we had at least an hour or so drive ahead of us driving down to the Morgan Hill/Gilroy area south of San Jose, we wanted to get a good meal in before hitting any potential traffic on the 85/101. I knew exactly where I wanted to go the second I landed in San Francisco. Koi Palace.

I had eaten at Koi Palace about three years earlier, and was introduced to the incredible dim sum that the restaurant offers. During the daytime and on the weekends, Koi Palace serves upwards of 100 different varieties of yum cha. The restaurant seats upwards of 300-400 people at a time — usually close to capacity — and looks like something out of the crazy fight scenes in Kill Bill or the luxurious residence of an Asian James Bond villain, with its huge vaulted ceiling and fish ponds in the middle of the main dining room. Admittedly, we have some pretty good Hong-Kong style restaurants in New York City’s Chinatown and in the Queens and New Jersey suburbs, but nothing even close to this. I mean, LIVE Alaskan king crabs? Where the heck do you find those in New York?

View of the restaurant from the parking lot at 4:30PM. This is as empty as most people will ever see it, as during prime dinner and lunch hours, this place can get packed and frequently you have to wait on line to get in. So go early.

A partial view of the cavernous main dining room.

Are you ready for some serious Hong Kong-style Seafood? Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

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