Thursday, February 16, 2012

Shark Fin, Yadda Yadda: Obama Could Have Eaten Better Dim Sum

Posted By on Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 5:15 PM

click to enlarge Obama, eating (but not siu mai). - WHITE HOUSE
  • White House
  • Obama, eating (but not siu mai).

President Obama, in town for a fundraiser, has made local headlines by stopping at Great Eastern for takeout dim sum. The San Francisco Chronicle has decided the stopover is a scandal. I agree, but not for the same reasons.

Chronicle reporter Carla Marinucci pointed out that Obama, who signed the Shark Conservation Act into law in January 2011, picked a restaurant that continues to sell shark fin soup -- and California's new ban on the sale and import of shark fin went into effect just six weeks ago. Scandal! Of course, the California law allows restaurants to sell off their existing stocks of shark fin until July 1, 2013, making that restaurant's menu still completely legal -- and I'd rather see that shark fin eaten rather than completely thrown away, entirely wasting the life of the animal that died to supply humans with the luxury foodstuff.

No, the scandal's really that Obama was sent to a middling restaurant. Great Eastern's definitely on SFoodie's recent list of San Francisco's top 10 dim sum restaurants, but mostly because of attrition -- all the better places in Chinatown have closed or slumped farther downhill. My last few visits to Great Eastern haven't been exactly thrilling.

Clearly, it's too much to ask Obama to make it out to the Avenues before dinner to go to South Sea Seafood Village or Hong Kong Lounge, which are much better. Considering the Chron

reported Obama ordering "shrimp dumplings, pork dumplings, steamed pork

buns, Shanghai dumplings and stuffed mushrooms," I'd have sent him to Yank Sing or City View, which do a better job with basic dumplings and buns. Incidentally, Rose Pak is now claiming she is responsible for Obama's Chinatown visit -- yet another reminder that power brokers aren't the best source for restaurant recommendations.

Follow us on Twitter: @sfoodie, and like us on Facebook.
Follow me at @JonKauffman.

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , ,

About The Author

Jonathan Kauffman


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • Arcade Fire at Shoreline
    Arcade Fire opened their US tour at Shoreline Amphitheater to a full house who was there in support of their album "Reflector," which was released last fall. Dan Deacon opened the show to a happily surprised early audience and got the crowd actively dancing and warmed up. DEVO was originally on the bill to support Arcade Fire but a kayak accident last week had sidelined lead singer Mark Mothersbaugh and the duration of the west coast leg of the tour. Win Butler did a homage to DEVO by performing Uncontrollable Urge.
  • Comic Con 2014

    Comic book enthusiasts, Cosplayers, TV and movie fans, and celebrities descended to sunny San Diego for the annual gathering at Comic-Con International.

    Whether hitting up a panel to check out The Simpson's announcement of a cross over with Family Guy or Futurama. Or hearing a new movie with Sam Raimie based on a video game or accidentally rubbing shoulders with Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) in cosplay, being a cosplayer, San Diego Comic-Con is the place to be. Photographs by Christopher Victorio