China Live

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4.5
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973 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.
What 973 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.3
service
4.4
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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BS
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

The food here is good but the service is seriously lacking. I've been here twice now and had the same issue both times. By the time we arrived the restaurant was clearing out and not very crowded, however we still were not sat until 15 minutes after our reservation time and then had issues getting consistent service throughout our meal.

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f
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Its a very friendly and fun restaurant. The food is excellent and the servers are knowledgable about the contents- we required gluten free options and they helped us figure out the menu. We had a group of 8 and they were just great for us.

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SS
Milwaukee
31 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The waitress was very helpful in making recommendations. The food was excellent!

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 2

Food was okay feel
That it missed the mark on flavours of authentic Chinese cuisine , service was good was rather loud

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Newcastle
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Very poor service

Waitress was most unhelpful for a first time diner and did not help us choose sufficiently for sharing for five persons and everyone left unfulfilled and not happy.

One item ran out and were just given plate of two items and just a message that we only have two left , no sorry or alternative all just matter of fact,

We were told the kitchen shut at 10.00 at 9.52 so felt rushed.

Drinks were never topped up

Doors were open at the front and it was cold.

Please Don’t take bookings at 9.30 if you are wanting to make customers feel rushed.

The manager handled our complaint excellently but had been let down by his staff and we left not having had the best of ends to an evening

On a plus side the food we did get was good

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EF
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

China loves food was incredible. The environment was very enjoyable and unique. The staff were very quick with food service and the food was very warm. We will hopefully return again when we are in the USA again.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Good staff, good food, a bit pricey. The staff was great.

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JL
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 4

Our first dinner at China Live was extraordinary. Waiter was AMAZing, food was fantastic and served in la way that we could enjoy every dish before embarking on the next.
This second dinner proved to be disastrous. The waiter seemed very rushed, no recommendations, food came out so fast that we could not eat fast enough to enjoy each while they were still hot. Everything tasted the same....garlic...no subtlety whatsoever or nuances based on the focal point of the dish.
N LOthing was as remember from first visit and because of this, I just cancelled an upcoming dinner that we booked in advance based on our first experience. Will not be returning.

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JZ
1 review
Dined on June 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was amazing! Best BBQ pork buns I have ever had. Server was friendly an knowledgeable.

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B
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was so good. Favorite is the Crackling skin Garlic Chicken ....we ordered a whole chicken worth every bite. Service was great 🤗

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BM
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

This was my second visit, and I was so looking forward to it - I had to have the chopped Peking Duck salad again. Unfortunately I was greatly disappointed this time around - it had a very noticible lack of duck, an opinion shared by my dining companions. Unconscionable, given the prices here. Nevertheless, if finances (and related portion size) are not of concern to you, the food here is generally and truly EXCELLENT. Balanced, nuanced flavors and beautifully presented without unnecessary fluff. The service is also terrific, and the setting unique and appealing, although quite noisy. I would not routinely recommend it to friends now, without caveats. It is quite expensive and not what I would consider fully worth it. But don't hesitate to try it, with eyes open.

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SL
Denver
11 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful everything.

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M
San Francisco
32 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 5ambience 4

The food is not delicious. The quality has taken a turn for the worst.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Food was surprisingly mediocre. The XLB were decent but most of everything else was so-so. The Family Special Tofu was surprisingly tough, and flavorless/one dimensional. I doubt that was Hodo tofu or yuba they were using in that dish. The tendon in the Beef Noodle was very tender while the beef was inedibly tough. The modern decor is welcome to see but I wish the quality of the food was as equally high.

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KT
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Menu is creative and exciting. Bustling dining room where you can see everyone cooking. Service was a little disorganized, but experience was fun overall.

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OT
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great all around.

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OT
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

We have been to China live several times , but none of the times were memorable. They do have the best SJB and they were calling me, so we decided to give it one more try. We were greeted by a snarky hostess who seated us in one of those communal table , it’s fine but the chairs had no back support , which I hate. It provide a very uncomfortable dinning experience.
We hope the food would be better but not the case. Started with the samosa , it wasn’t to bad. Than XLB, average at best. The Kung pao chicken, good potion but taste was blend. The worst dish was the Zhajianmain , way to chewy . The last dish was the best , SJB , I love the bun , not to think and the bottom was crispy. Desert we shared the mango shave ice, it was good but over price. To sum up our whole dinning experience, mediocre food at a high price. Sadly we won’t be back.

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g
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing experience! My wife enjoyed this place so much

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CT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food, a really lively, fun experience. I would definitely like to go back again. The mango dessert was very special.

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h
Washington DC
33 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent meal and beautiful restaurant. Nice cab by the glass. It is a very noisy dining environment due to the large number of patrons. So keep this in mind if there's a member of your party who may have hearing loss, or a child who may become overstimulated.

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j
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Freaking phenomenal !!!!!! Can’t wait to return

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SH
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 5

The food was good but not amazing for the price. Our server was nice and competent but the young man delivering the food was quite surly and they didn’t check us in on arrival so I got an email from open table asking if we missed the reservation.

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MI
1 review
Dined on June 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We enjoyed everything about our experience: the food, the shopping, and the service. There were so many tempting items on the menu, we found it difficult to choose, but ultimately, everything that was brought to our table was delicious.

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OT
Springfield
3 reviews
Dined on June 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful overall experience...food was the star as it should be!!

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OT
1 review
Dined on June 12, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

We had a reservation, we were out in a corner at a bar style table. We were celebrating an anniversary and we are from out of country. We were recommended by a friend, it was a disappointing experience. **props to someone who came over to us 20minutes after sitting down and asking us if we had been helped.

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DS
1 review
Dined on June 12, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 4ambience 1

The place is noisy and overcrowded. The food quality is definitely poor. Our waiter did a good job, but the overall experience was far for being decent. I would only recommend this place to my worst enemies.

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MS
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on June 12, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 4ambience 2

Food was great but the restaurant was extremely noisy and we could hardy hear one another speak.

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OT
1 review
Dined on June 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food outstanding but the noise level is over the top. For that reason I won’t go again, can’t have a conversation

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HO
Osaka
1 review
Dined on June 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

3人で人気の薄皮焼き肉まん4個、焼き餃子4個、北京ダック3個、麻婆豆腐、豚肉のピーナッツ炒めとローカルビール2杯、ノンアルコールカクテル1杯で188ドル+チップでした。味濃いめで美味しくお腹いっぱいになりましたが、雰囲気も良く、良い店と思いますが高くもありませんが安いとは感じませんでした。

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K
1 review
Dined on June 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Great place, just really loud! Food overall was amazing though!

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M
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Delicious food but way too expensive for What we ate...140$ for 3 plates, 1 bottle of sparkling water and 2 mini desserts.

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JP
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on June 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love this place... this is a must go when in SF... been there 2 times while traveling to was the Giants play- GO GIANTS! and well great food too!!!

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VF
Miami
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great evening out experience! Don't miss it.

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Tahoe
12 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love this place. We will be back. I highly recommend China Live. The food was delicious, service was excellent, and the atmosphere was fun.

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p
Dallas
5 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was very good as well as the service. It was a bit loud in the restaurant but I would definitely go back and recommend this restaurant to anyone wanting great food!

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D
Charlotte
21 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 3

Really has gone downhill. Spent almost $300 for our dinner, and EVERY dish was a disappointment with exception of the blistered green beans. Their “signature” entree whole crab was a bad joke. The pork buns were terrible, consisting of large prefab white bun filled with scant tough sinewy meat. Like so many of the dishes, lacking quality and taste. Service was friendly and frequent- the only remaining quality item here.

Recommend you stay away. No reason to pay top dollar for below average to substandard food in San Francisco.

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RR
1 review
Dined on June 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Pleased with the food and service. Just a tad too loud! :)

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s
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 3

Interesting treatment of "standard" plates. Peking Duck comes in baked, flaky pockets. Delicious! Pork buns also are flaky, baked pastries with scrumptious BBQ pork. Service was bit lacking. Had to flag down server a couple of times to refresh drinks. Dishes were timed poorly so fried rice came out after all other dishes had been served instead of alongside to enjoy with dinner.

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D
Philadelphia
39 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

The place has amazing food !! It is however so noisy talk is almost impossible

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F
New York Area
68 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Truly a fun and tasty night out, hits the spot whether in big group, small group or solo.

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