Best New Restaurant - 2011
Commonwealth and Mission Chinese Food
San Francisco, CA 94110
Apart from co-owner Anthony Myint and a shared propensity for donating restaurant profits to local nonprofits, Commonwealth and Mission Chinese Food are independent businesses with very different modi operandi. One is a bistro decorated like a CSI lab, complete with shiny appliances and photogenic staff; the other is a raucous Chinese restaurant with a hip-hop soundtrack and a paper dragon stalking diners from the ceiling. Considered as a whole, though, the neighboring restaurants are a whirling, throbbing pulsar of creativity. Between Commonwealth's propensity for serving squid stuffed with marrow and slow-cooked eggs poised atop kombu-roasted carrots, and MCF's experiments with Sichuan spice blends, smoked lamb cheeks, and thrice-cooked pork belly, chefs Jason Fox and Danny Bowien are emitting ideas that may be detected as far afield as New York. And because they're keeping prices well below $20 an entrée, all of San Francisco is welcome to take in the show.