China Live

4.6
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1354 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Chinese
"Restaurant of the Year" - EaterSF
Our first floor restaurant features a daily changing seasonal menu cooked from 8 specialized stations that merge traditional Chinese and Western culinary equipment. A main dining area plays centerpiece, appointed with chairs and tables all handcrafted in China from reclaimed Chinese elm. These exhibition kitchens, with plenty of bar seating, will allow you a more close-up view of the deft chefs in action.
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What 1354 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.4
service
4.4
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
84% of people would recommend it to a friend
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SM
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food5service3ambience4

One of the best Chinese restaurants I have been to, came here for a business meeting, will certainly go again. The food was great but portions were small, we had to order additional entrees, post round 1. The food came in waves and the portions were smaller than one would predict from the menu. Overall a great place to be at.

CA
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Pretty decent Chinese food, though aimed more at visitors to Chinatown. Portions were adequate for our party of four, didn’t wait too long for dishes to arrive. Prices are moderately high but I suppose somebody’s got to help pay the rent 😳.

e
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Our server was quick to greet us and take our drink orders. He was very patient as we were all trying to catch up with each other rather than focusing on ordering. The food- and we had a lot of it- was outstanding. The energy and vibe are terrific.

d
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Bailey and the staff were greatto work with, and accommodated our large engagement party without any hiccups or problems. Thank you again for a special night!

NT
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was my second visit and it was so good! All of the appetizers were phenomenal... especially the two varieties of dumplings we had!! If you're looking for a nice dinner out with tasty cocktails this is the place

BE
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 6, 2020
Overall2food2service4ambience3

Food was alright!! Way over priced!! Some item on the menu was average Chinese food but prices where way over price for basic Chinese!!

k
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience4

It was awesome as usual. For the first time my waitress wasn’t the best and kept trying to encourage us to get something we didn’t want! Impossible meat pork dumplings- so that was irritating and wasn’t as familiar with the menu as the other waiters from previous visits...
All in all it still is one of my fave restaurants

OT
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I love China Live. I just wish I didn’t have to travel across the country to dine here. It’s my fifth visit in 4 months and I will return. Our group of eight had a blast and loved the food!

SM
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great date night spot. My partner and I love bar style seating, and there is plenty of it at this place in addition to lots of table space. It's a little on the pricier end for me, but the food is incredible so it's definitely worth it. We split a pot of tea and a bunch of small plates to share. You really can't go wrong here.

BM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious and modern Chinese food! Will definitely go back

VC
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Billed as new take on Chinese food, we endeavored to try it as it was a short walk from our hotel. The space is inviting and huge, the chairs a little uncomfortable, and the noise/energy high. We started with the recommended Baos and and soup Baos along with the chicken skewers and shared a “fat” noodle chow mein as our entree to share. The Baos and the skewers were good but unremarkable. The fat chow mein was delicious and used what looked like Soba style noodles. I think the food was good, but not being accustomed to SF prices, not worth what was charged. On the other hand , the Hog Heaven (a WhistlePig based cocktail) was well worth the price of admission.

FD
1 review
Dined on January 2, 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Excelent place and food, good option in San Francisco it just took long to get service and it remained that way

OT
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on January 2, 2020
Overall3food5service3ambience4

The service is always slow, but the food is great.

OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Terrible experience !
The duck and the bbq baked buns were finished!
We chose the restaurant for thé delicious Food and almost everything was sold !
And desserts? Finished

F
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, nice environment, would recommend to anyone looking for a great meal and night out

GA
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We truly enjoyed our experience and the food and service was exceptional. Our first time but truly not our last. It was our anniversary on New Year’s Eve. Was great

OT
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Surroundings lovely but extremely noisy. Food OK but distinct lack of spice in Sichuan dish!

OT
Miami
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

NYE date with husband.

OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall3food2service3ambience4

The food are generally bland for asian palate. Luckily they serve chili sauce that saved the day.

k
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Great all around!

OT
Mexico City
11 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall2food4service1ambience2

Servixe Must not be based on traditionals it has to be aligned to real service received.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fun place for non traditional Chinese in Chinatown. The service was attentive and the food very well executed. It was the best meal I have had in months.

g
Edmonton
61 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best Authentic Chinese in SF.

OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Only issue was watered down drinks. Had to be redone.

DT
Los Angeles
8 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything and everyone was wonderful- from the service to the cocktails and dinner was special!

b
Los Angeles
56 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious food. Loved the soup dumplings,

T
New York Area
55 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

A bit Westernized and simply ok. There are many
other (and better choices) in a city rich in Chinese cuisine. The staff though was quite good, professional, affable and engaging. One food item to note- If you like spare ribs these were quite ample, perfectly cooked and richly pork flavored

DK
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 29, 2019
Overall3food2service5ambience5

The restaurant is beautiful the food is...meh. I prefer Hong Kong Lounge or Yank Sing.

H
San Francisco
41 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Delicious food, good quality food. Fresh and clean. The restaurant is amazing. I love good architectural design, so it’s a fun place to experience for sure! I will be going back again and again!

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Birthday dinner for my boyfriend. Great food, great service. One small complaint, though. When I made this reservation, I made a note on OpenTable that this is a birthday dinner, two diners. I reiterated that this was a birthday dinner when I checked in with the host. The host told me to tell the server. We were then seated at a community table.

You may ask, “What’s the complaint?” Here’s what’s wrong with this situation. And this is simply a training issue: when we checked in with the host, she should have acknowledged that this was a birthday dinner then relayed that information to our server. Furthermore, it was obvious we’re a couple and we were there just the two of us. We should have been given a two-person table, not the community table. A two-person table was available but was given to a couple who arrived right after us.

Petty? Not so much when you consider that the food and service was incredible; so should have been our first impression, our interaction with the host. It should have been nothing short of amazing.

This is a trendy, modern restaurant - no doubt. The table service and the food were both remarkable. The ambiance is busy and loud. It is hard to hear your dining companion(s) especially at a community table; that’s not good especially if your guest is celebrating a special occasion.

One more thing: I know this is trendy and modern restaurant, but could your host and wait staff/servers dress nicer? I dropped $200 on a dinner served to me by people in T-shirts and jeans.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved the soup dumplings

KS
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful menu. We ordered BBQ "duck crunch" baked buns, delicious! Charred Chinese broccoli, tender scallops, duck pockets. Everything we ordered did no disappoint. There's a lovely gift shop while you wait.

OT
Mexico City
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Very nice place. Great food

J
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Mike is an amazing server!

RA
Los Angeles
18 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The restaurant—Bright, clean modern space. Service by a personable staff with great knowledge of the food. Sit facing the kitchen if possible...in awe of the sheer volume of high quality dim sum & other Chinese specialties they prepare.

OT
1 review
Dined on December 26, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience5

Terrible service. Hair in food. Zero accommodation to the bill when server was made aware of food being sent back for hair in the dim sum and the freezing cold green beans. Horrible experience.

MS
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I came back here with my same friend who was with me earlier in the month for our Christmas lunch. Everything was exquisite and consistent! Keep up the great work, China Live! Next time, we're sitting at one of the stations.

OT
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Bueniiiidimo

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OT
Raleigh
9 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Very fresh chinese food with different options

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Choose a seat at the bar. You get a great view

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