There’s nothing like the long-anticipated China Live (opened in March in historic Chinatown) anywhere. It’s a game-changer in Chinese/Asian food with its first-floor restaurant, retail market, bar and tea-centered café, while a fine-dining restaurant and two bars are about to open upstairs. Founder and executive chef George Chen and his wife, Cindy Wong-Chen, roll out killer modern Chinese food from various stations around the first floor, serving dumplings/dim sum, salads, Chinese charcuterie and barbecue, noodles, seafood, soups, wok stir-fry and sweets.
THE DRINK TO DRINK: San Francisco drink pioneer and director of beverage Duggan McDonnell ensures drink menus throughout the building keep up with the food, from sake to Malaysian-style cold-brew coffee. At Bar Central downstairs, look for teas to play prominently in many cocktails. Try the tall, refreshing Honey On the Southside, mixing Príncipe de Los Apóstoles Yerba Mate gin, fresh lemon juice, matcha tea honey, and muddled peppermint and basil, topped with seltzer.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: The soon-to-open upstairs bar will have separate back entrance and a futuristic, elegant Blade Runner vibe and will serve uncommon, affordable whiskeys and other spirits.