AsiaSF 201 9th St./Howard St., South of Market. Reservations advised.
This place seems to have everything going for it: good food, great entertainment, central location, easy parking, reasonable prices. All the waitresses here are actually Asian men who dress as women. These “gender illusionists” also perform hourly--dancing and lip-synching atop a 40-foot-long runway on the bar. This means everyone gets to see almost everything. Any wait to get in can be spent in a dance club downstairs, which offers more diversion at no additional admission charge. And though the show is the main draw, the East-West fusion food is tasty. Appetizers include chicken satay, Dungeness crab cakes, and a refreshing Thai shrimp salad, and scallops and filet mignon are among the entrees. Mixed drinks are colorful and fun—think Trina’s Pussycat made with Malibu Coconut Rum and Chambord or a Blue Margarita--and include some sake cocktails and a few non-alcoholic specials. For dessert, the tray of yummy miniature ice cream cones is the way to go. Lights are low, spirits are high, and wardrobe malfunctions and debauchery between shows is part of the experience.
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image © 2014 Carole Terwilliger Meyers