Walking around near our apartment the day after New Year’s Eve, I noticed more than just the occasional crusty upchuck on Stockton and bleary-eyed revelers catching cabs at 10 AM (sartorial note: the light of day does not forgive sequins). Most pressing, nay shocking to me was the shuttering of our go-to dim sum restaurant, Gold Mountain.
I’m no dim sum expert, but Gold Mountain had everything we looked for in a local place to eat in the morning. Often, Saturday or Sunday morning presented a challenge, namely that I crave food at that time and my better half does not. Despite my hankering for poached eggs and toast, the block and a half long line at Mama’s in North Beach seemed crazy to me (IT’S JUST BRUNCH I want to yell IT’S NOT WORTH WAITING FOR THREE HOURS) and besides, he dislikes breakfast food anyways, so two and a half years ago we ventured forth to Chinatown for a solution.
Dim sum solved our breakfast/brunch problem: it’s not typical eggs-and-starch, it satisfies salt cravings, and it can be inexpensive (fun fact: my favorite dim sum dish growing up, according to my mother, was duck’s feet). This is how we happened upon Gold Mountain – although I love occasional trips to Yank Sing when family is in town, I’d much rather partake in cheap and cheerful bites off carts in Chinatown. Gold Mountain, on Broadway, was less busy than other large establishments but a better environment than some of the hole-in-the-walls on Stockton. No matter what we ordered, we’d get out of there for $20ish for two, stuffed to the gills with Shiu Mai and Bao.
I guess you know you’ve lived in one area for long enough when you encounter a shuttered favorite with a sad sign in the window stating that their lease is up and you are genuinely surprised. There’s a twinge of sadness, an exclaimed expletive, and then a chuckle. It wasn’t because it was the best meal you’ve ever had, it wasn’t because they treated you well or recognized you when you came it: it’s because that’s where you went regularly, it was familiar and dependable and it’s where you went.
Walking around today, I see more papered storefronts and “closed effective immediately” signs. I guess this happens on the first of the month more often than I notice, but I’m seeing it more today. Out with the old…