The root is rich in various vitamins and minerals as well as dietary fiber and is widely enjoyed throughout east Asia.
XO sauce, as browsers at Asian markets may know, is an irresistible, if pricey, confection a lumpy paste of dried seafood (including shrimp and scallop) along with various seasonings and degrees of chili heat. It's quite good right out of the jar, as I am embarrassed to say I know from personal (though not recent) experience. How much better, though, to use the precious XO to flavor a dish like beef chow fun ($6.95), a Cantonese festival of wide noodles, strips of tender meat, and bean sprouts. The color palette here was a little too thoroughly earthen to be ideal, but the glistening of the noodles and beef did bring a bit of joy to the eye.
It's not surprising that a restaurant serving food this tasty, interesting, and carefully prepared at such modest prices should attract young people, nor that given the restaurant's location deep in the Sunset District so many of those young people should appear to be of Asian ancestry. Their presence suggests that some kind of college or university campus must lie nearby, but we couldn't think of one. City College? Not too close. San Francisco State? Closer, though hardly at hand. The Sunset might be a neighborhood not a kingdom, but it's a pretty good-sized neighborhood that shows signs of reinvention and renewal and now it has a place where you can eat like a king, for a lot less than the king's ransom.
KINGDOM OF DUMPLING
Daily, 10 a.m.9:30 p.m.
1713 Taraval, SF
Beer and wine