Little Shanghai Restaurant
At Little Shanghai in San Mateo, the thought and care that go into each of the whopping 200+ dishes on the menu are evident. You can especially see the detail in the cold appetizers, like the drunken chicken, which is soaked in a light wine sauce and comes served in a little pumpkin-shaped bowl, and is made with five-year aged wine that’s imported directly from Shanghai. The finely-chopped ma lan tou, the vegetable used in the bean curd cold appetizer, is also imported from Shanghai. And according to co-owner Vera Wan, preparing the salted duck is a two-day process.
It’s hard to narrow down highlights from the extensive menu, but you shouldn’t leave here without an order of chewy rice cakes with pork and preserved mustard greens, or the rice with salted pork and vegetables that’s baked and steamed in a clay pot. For a richer dish, go for the tender, bite-sized sweet and sour spareribs.