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Chow / Park Chow

Excellent MidPrice Quality


Park Chow is a highly recommended casual restaurant in the Sunset district (foggy!) near the trendy corner of Ninth Avenue & Irving. This area has filled quickly with cafes and restaurants pushing out what was once an authentic Asian neighborhood. However, there remain many interesting local family owned businesses.

This restaurant is a clone of its Castro companion near the Castro District. The first "Chow" was widely successful and critically acclaimed. We visited both restaurants most recently in April 2000. What makes these places cool is:

  • Great atmosphere including a cozy fire.
  • Very reasonable prices for high quality food - average ticket is about $15 per person (or even less) with a drink.
  • A fun place with good food.
  • Specials are a great value and what the chef likes to make!

We visited Park Chow during the winter and Chow in the Spring.  The food was great! We had a pork sandwich lunch special which was sliced very thin with tasty cheese and mustard. The $7 special included soup or salad. The minestrone soup was pretty good on a cold day. The long narrow restaurant includes counter seating. Another common feature is gourmet pizzas.

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Great food -- good prices -- casual atmosphere. We finished our meal with a delicious dessert which was a ginger cake with pumpkin ice cream and a wonderful caramel sauce. Park Chow is creative!

On our 2nd visit during Spring 2000, we enjoyed Thai spicy chicken salad with a healthy oil-free dressing. The lunch was great for only $7. Our guest enjoyed the salmon sandwich with a side salad included. The salmon sandwich was awesome -- dinner quality for lunch prices! Needless to say, the restaurant gets busy at lunch with their excellent value proposition and food quality. Again on our 2nd visit, the service was somewhat below par. If you're in a hurry, this isn't the place to go. The cozy, woodsy atmosphere is really comfortable... Window seating at Church Street Chow allows you to really observe the neighborhood's feel.

Another issue was the service quality on both visits spaced a year+ apart. The time of year may have been a factor, but there were a number of minor issues with our service. This included long waits for service, missing items, and a miscalculated bill which was never solved. Nothing to stop us from rushing back though!

Park Chow is highly recommended and worth a trip. It's not a place you'll find many tourists... just smart locals. The Sunset area actually has semi-adequate parking compared to many areas of the city. Just don't plan on parking right at 9th & Irving.

Our rating for Chow / Park Chow - B+ (points off due to service)

1240 Ninth Avenue @ Irving (Sunset District) 415-665-9912

215 Church Street @ Market (Castro District) 415-552-2469


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