Empire Building

S.F.’s Mission Chinese Food Is Coming to New York’s Lower East Side

MCF's porky, spicy ma po tofu.
MCF’s porky, spicy ma po tofu. Photo: Patrick W./Yelp

The incredibly popular Mission Chinese Food in San Francisco, which opened within another, kind of dingy Chinese restaurant in 2010 and has since won accolades from Bon Appétit, GQ, and pretty much everyone, is going to open a New York branch later this year. The Times is reporting that it’s a former takeout space at 154 Orchard Street (between Rivington and Stanyon) on the LES.

Chef Danny Bowien is moving to New York March 1 to oversee the remodel and launch the new operation. Meanwhile, his longtime sous chef Jesse Koide will take care of things in the San Francisco location. He says, “We could have opened another one here in San Francisco, but I love New York, the way it pushes you.”

The new space will have 39 seats and Bowien promises, “It’ll be the same [as the S.F. one], but cleaner.” Furthermore, the menu will resemble the original, with a relatively short selection of Chinese-inspired dishes like kun pao pastrami, smoked beef brisket soup noodles, ma po tofu, and salt cod fried rice with escolar confit and Chinese sausage.

The original Mission Chinese opened within Lung Shan, a Chinese restaurant on a sketchy stretch of Mission Street that was also home to the popular and pioneering pop-up, Mission Street Food — recently commemorated in this cookbook.

Will New York embrace Bowien’s decidedly inauthentic takes on Chinese? Who can say. But as the Chron’s Jon Bonné just pointed out on Twitter, “Kung pao pastrami in proximity to Katz’s? Brilliant!”

Mission Chinese Food Is Coming to New York [NYT]
Danny Bowien headed to New York to open a second Mission Chinese Food [Scoop]
Earlier: Ruth Reichl Feasts at Mission Chinese Food, Reveals Her Favorite Burrito in L.A.
Mission Chinese Food Featured on The Martha Stewart Show [Updated]

S.F.’s Mission Chinese Food Is Coming to New York’s Lower East Side