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  • Reviewed by:   on: 2/15/2013 1:20:00 PM
    Usually I like to cook, but the other day I home late. There was nothing in the fridge, and I was too lazy to go to the store. Luckily my neighborhood offers plenty of take-out options; I picked this place, which was just down the street. I had never eaten there, but I was comforted by the fact that it's usually pretty busy inside. The Yelp reviews said it specialized in something called "meatless chicken." It was the most popular thing on the menu.The first time I ordered it, the meatless chicken came in brown cubes. The texture was so meat-like and it tasted so chicken-y that I thought they had made a mistake with my order. Perhaps I was a little naive, but I had eaten plenty of similarly advertised meatless items before. So befuddled was I over the mystery meat's identity that I couldn't finish it.A few days later, I was still so uncertain over my meatless chicken experience that I decided I needed to order it again. This time I ordered the meatless chicken as lunch special with a sesame sauce. (Btw- lunch special is a great deal - it's cheap and it's huge.) The meatless chicken was totally different this time - deep fried and smothered in the sesame sauce to the degree that my taste buds could detect no fake chicken-y taste at all.. Reassured of the product's meatlessness and encouraged by the fact that it was deep fried in fatty goodness, I enjoyed the artificial meat much more the second time around. You can read more about the slippery and subjective boundaries between meatless distaste and delight here, and also see some pics. http://homogastronomicus…I also really liked the onion pancake that comes with a peanut dipping sauce and the chive dumplings. But when I looked at the menu this time I didn't see the dumpings. I'm concerned that they might have been a special.
  • Reviewed by:   on: 2/15/2012 5:16:00 PM
    (See pics) Review #1116. More of 3.5 stars. Inexpensive greasy good Chinese food (yeah they are many expensive and overpriced ones.) Lots of dish choices. The spring rolls (vegetarian) were good crispy. The eggplant with chicken and prawns came with lots of rice. It was tasty but not that spicy despite the look. Do like how they properly cooked the eggplant to very tender. The dish was loaded with sodium so drink lots of tea afterwards.They also serve dim sum, and a varied selection of faked meat dishes for vegetarians. Have not tried and something to check out on the next visit.The space was nice with the recent renovation, decorations and newer seats that gave the place a clean feel and it was not noisy. Both are a rarity for Chinese places. Good service too.
  • Reviewed by:   on: 12/4/2012 3:05:00 AM
    Delivery only: I can't comment on the food... But only because I've been waiting for it for over 90 minutes and it's still not here. Won't make the same mistake again.
  • Reviewed by:   on: 12/10/2012 4:48:00 AM
    Good food! I live close by so I order from this place all the time. If you pick up your order of $20 or more, you get a free chow mein or fried rice with meat of your choice. The Wor Wanton Soup is fantastic.
  • Reviewed by:   on: 11/28/2012 3:35:00 PM
    Quite possible the best vegetarian/vegan take out restaurant in the city. Their sesame and general Tsao's meatless chicken is the best I have had. They of course have many other great dishes but these are my favorite. Plus if you get two entrees you get a free rice or chow mein dish!
  • Reviewed by:   on: 11/23/2012 10:53:00 AM
    I have only ordered delivery from Big Lantern and was surprised the first time I tried their sauteed string beans. There was a tasty, light soy-like sauce with garlic. However, when I ordered the same thing two weeks later, the green beans were not as crisp but the flavor was still satisfying.If asked, they will give you a free veggie fried rice if you order two entrees. Both veggie and meatless chicken fried rice are decent. Either paired with the string beans and some chili oil/soy sauce makes for a satisfying, convenient, and not too greasy Chinese meal.You can also place your order online at Eat24Hours. However, I do not know if/how they'd honor the free fried rice with order of 2 entrees deal.
  • Reviewed by:   on: 11/21/2012 12:38:00 PM
    I'm here visiting San Francisco and was really craving Vegetarian Orange "Chicken". I tried it for the first time on a trip to LA and loved it so I did all I could to find a place that would deliver it to me in North Beach.I placed my Big Lantern order around 2:10 on a Saturday afternoon. I ordered Orange "Chicken", white rice and veggie dumplings. They said it would arrive by 3:05. So I waited, and waited. And then waited some more. When it got to be 3:15 I called and said its been more than an hour and asked about my order. The woman was nice and said she would call the driver but she was sure it was on its way. She said she would call me back. They never called back. I called back at 3:40 thinking ok it's been almost an hour and a half it should be here. She told me he was very close and that she was sorry for the delay. The driver then called me and said 5 minutes. He finally arrived about 10 minutes later. Like I said, I'm not from here so maybe this is the norm in terms of delivery in these areas.Clearly by the time the food arrived, it was not very hot but the orange chicken was good. It was pretty fried, which I somewhat expected, but it had good flavor and really good texture for fake meat. The dumplings were ok, they had good flavor but because of the delay in delivery they weren't very hot and started getting a little moist from the steam in the container.All in all, I would definitely eat at Big Lantern again but I think I would go into the restaurant rather than order delivery. Kudos on the orange chicken though!
  • Reviewed by:   on: 11/15/2012 5:11:00 AM
    Good, cheap food in a well decorated and vibrant setting. Great dim sum as well.
  • Reviewed by:   on: 1/8/2013 9:23:00 PM
    Oh man, good food. I'd tell you to go for the Honey Walnut Prawns, but then again, everything I've had here is delicious. Can't go wrong.
  • Reviewed by:   on: 1/4/2013 2:30:00 AM
    Big lantern is very good but can be a little hit or miss. I like that they have a lot of vegetarian choices but I'm not crazy about all of them. I love all the things they make with meatless chicken but I haven't been as delighted by the other meatless stuff. I haven't been crazy about the stuff on the dim sum menu but other people really like them so maybe it's just me. They deliver and that's awesome but we haven't gotten delivery from them since we discovered golden kim tar. We went there for Chrismas eve this year and I liked it but I kept thinking that the only reason we went there was because so many other places were closed and that I'd wished we had done better.
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