Best of the Bay 2011: BEST CRUNCHY ALMOND BALLS

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Waits are long at dingy, bustling Hong Kong Lounge, but on weekends you'll be kept company by multigenerational Chinese families — kids and grandparents bonding over mountainous cheap meals. Like all superlative dim sum spots, not only is a meal here blessedly affordable (generally $2-$6 for dim sum plates), there are unusual items — like deep-fried coffee pork ribs that taste robustly of a cup of joe — to keep things interesting. We're in love with the Lounge's egg yolk almond balls: they're doughy and filled with yellow sweet cream that looks like yolk. The balls taste similar to Chinese egg custards and are coated in almond shavings for a satisfying crunch.

5322 Geary, SF. (415) 668-8836

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