Yes, Mister Jiu’s boasts stunning gold lotus blossom chandeliers and a dark modern bar but at its heart, it’s not a whole lot different from the family-owned Chinese restaurants that populate Chinatown with their large, unadorned dining rooms and statues straight out of Chinese mythology. Really it should come as no surprise; chef/owner Brandon Jew grew up in this neighborhood and this same space once held one of his favorite childhood restaurants.
Now, Jew’s traditional Chinese food with a local, seasonal foundation in Northern California is being heralded as some of the best in the city. Among the most affordable tasting menus in the city, Mister Jiu’s Classics is packed with seven savory dishes like Dutch crunch BBQ pork buns and pork “lion’s head” meatballs ($69/person). A much wider range of elevated classics, including several vegetarian options like tofu skin with spring onions, cured egg yolk and asparagus, appear on the a la carte menu. Upstairs, Jew’s more recent addition, the plush, mid-century Chinatown inspired Moongate Lounge, serves bites from the kitchen below along with a selection of creative, Chinese-inspired cocktails like the Io, made with mezcal, montenegro, black garlic and plum.