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Jin Hua Li, chef-owner of this bare-bones Richmond restaurant, cooks in all the ways that make places like Delfina and Perbacco emblematic of San Francisco cuisine: Bringing out simple, transparent flavors. Using formal culinary technique to refine peasant food while staying true to the dish. Showing off what he can do with the belly parts. Li's attention to detail shows in the delicacy of the way he seasons a simple dish of lily bulbs, wood ear, and snap peas or stomach strips dusted with ginger powder. He subtly refines rustic Hakka dishes like pork belly with preserved cabbage, pumpkin coated in an egg-yolk batter and fried, and tofu stuffed with ground pork, braised until it has the jiggly texture of panna cotta.
If Jin Hua Li, chef of two-month-old Hakka Restaurant, were cooking Italian exactly the way he cooks Hakka and Cantonese, San Francisco foodies would be hailing him as the new Craig Stoll. Stoll's Delfina excels in ways that the outer Richmond... More »
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