Chinese Food and Movies on Christmas Day
Santa may not visit everyone's chimney, particularly for those who are non-believers. A remedy on the big Christmas holiday is to eat Chinese food (and lots of it) and catch a movie, a two-fer that is a tradition for many Jews. Actually, the Chinese food outings on December 25 are an interfaith gift for all, if you aren't up for cooking or a big to-do with your family. Thankfully, a majority of Chinese food restaurants are open Wednesday. Here are some of our favorites:
Peking duck: A holiday tradition since A Christmas Story.
Eric's menu has Hunan and Mandarin flourishes -- go for the General Tso's chicken and Hunan lamb. For a serving of funny live comedy, check out the 21st annual Kung Pao Kosher Comedy at New Asia Restaurant in the heart of Chinatown, with a prix-fixe menu that is served banquet style. Cocktails are definitely available and children are welcome minus screaming babies (love that rather sane stipulation). For those wanting salt and pepper crab, one of the best versions is at R&G Lounge -- and eating it there feels particularly festive.
La Cocina's Caleb Zigas told me that he's no stranger to the tradition of nabbing Chinese food on Christmas and I thought he had great ideas for restaurants that are conveniently located near movie houses. His favorites include Riverside, near the Balboa; Chili House by the Four Star; Z&Y near both the Embarcadero and Metreon; Shanghai Dumpling King in the same hood as the Balboa; and in Daly City, there's the dim sum heavyweight Koi Palace that is sooo close to the Century 20 theater.