One of the best places for Cantonese rice rolls in San Francisco Chinatown is Blue Sky Restaurant. Technically, located in North Beach, Blue Sky make other dim sum well, but the rice noodle is special – a real gem.
Although there are different restaurants in Chinatown that make dim sum, not many if any that make rice noodles as good as this establishment. Blue Sky is in North Beach, about 2 to 3 blocks from the main part of Chinatown. It is too far for the locals to go, unless they live on the Chinatown and North Beach border. It’s other dim sum is above average but its rice noodle is one of the best, if not the best in San Francisco Chinatown. I often have it with a large chicken bun. They make a good chicken bun too, as well as shu mai, and other staple dim sums.
To many Chinese people, the rice noodle is the measure of the quality of the rest of the dim sum. The rice noodle is only good when it is hot or warm. It is okay, but not great otherwise. The rice noodle at Blue Sky comes in the different types, beef, shrimp or BBQ pork in the middle. Put some soy sauce on it, and you are ready to have it with your morning latte from North Beach and the paper. Many of its guest speak Cantonese only so you will get bored staring at them. Also, this is the equivalent of a Chinese fast food resturant. They are not going to stop you from bringing in your $4 latte. The counter lady only speaks a little English, so just point if you have to. The rice noodle is covered in cellophan, not in the bamboo steamers.
Get there early, and they do run out later in the day. The rice noodle will be still steaming right in front of you at the counter. It will be light, fluffy and tasty. If you see the lady behind the counter putting your rice noodle into the microwave, you have arrived too late. I almost always try to get there before 10am, and around 8-9 am is even better. I have never seen Blue Sky make another batch of rice noodles later in the day. They may, but I have never seen it, so once they are out, you can assume they are out.
Unlike most establishments in Chinatown that are open every day of the week, Blue Sky is closed on Mondays. Blue Sky is located on 1504 Powell St., San Francisco, CA 94133.