16th Street dumpling spot Chino, which has been fairly popular since its 2014 opening but failed to fully impress the foodinistas when it came to their signature dumplings, is undergoing a revamp of sorts and is currently closed for two weeks. As Tablehopper reports, the change will be coming at the hands of chef Ron Pei, who'll be reopening Chino on August 11 with an entirely new menu. He'll be taking over where opening chef de cuisine Dale Arcalas left off.
Pei previously worked for owner Joe Hargrave at Laiola in the Marina, which is now Tacolicious (also owned by Hargrave). Since leaving for the East Coast in 2009, Pei has gotten some impressive new things on his resumé, including Blue Hill Stone Barns and Commis in New York, and José Andres’s minibar in DC. He'll now be revamping Chino as a Chinese spot with "Shandong roots and flavor profiles," some street food influences, and "some Californian creativity."
This could be exciting!
Noodles will be made with wheat instead of rice flour (which is southern), and Pei will be using his dad’s recipe for some water-boiled dumplings (plus some other family recipes). Some dishes he mentioned include an updated version of clams with fermented black beans in a ham-hock jus with jalapeños it will come topped with a scallion pancake made with bacon fat, mmmmhmmm. Another will be a larger family-style dish of slow-braised lamb shoulder mu shu, with seasonal plum salad, housemade plum sauce, green onion, and cucumber.
It's unclear whether Lauren Sloss's favorite chilled sesame noodles will stick around, but it sounds like things will be all new, with the exception of the xiao long bao (soup dumplings) which will be getting some tweaks.
Other dishes look to be Taiwanese fried chicken with herbs, housemade tofu with fried garlic, and a Taiwanese beef noodle soup made with short ribs.
The bar program will remain a constant, with bar manager Danny Louie staying on and becoming a partner. And Tablehopper notes the fun bit of connection: "Louie’s father worked at Cecilia Chiang’s Mandarin and so did Pei’s father. How about that?"
Chino - 3198 16th Street at Guerrero - Reopening August 10