Z & Y Restaurant has been recognized by everyone from the Michelin Guide, which made it a 2018 Bib Gourmand pick, to President Barack Obama, who ordered takeout from the restaurant during a visit to San Francisco in 2015 — but the long lines Z & Y has experienced as a result could be shortened by a new expansion, Z & Y Bistro. The additional Z & Y space will serve more customers at 606 Jackson Street (between Cooper Alley and Kearny Street): According to a representative from the restaurant, it’s still being renovated — but the space, formerly Chung King, is already displaying a Z & Y sign.
“We’re at the final stages — hopefully we don’t need to wait for another two months,” Z & Y Bistro manager Monica Wong tells Eater SF. “From the bottom of my heart, I want it to be open as soon as possible.” While the new restaurant’s menu isn’t completely set, Wong promises a “totally different menu” from the original Z & Y, one prominently featuring hand-pulled noodles. The new bistro will also feature a full bar, Wong says, a relative rarity in Chinatown.
Z & Y’s original space, at 655 Jackson Street, opened in 2008 and became known for spicy dishes like a descriptively named “chicken with explosive peppers.” It’s owned by chef Han Lijun, also of Chili House in the Inner Richmond, and his partner Michelle Zhang. Obama is just one in a long list of dignitaries and world leaders for whom Lijun has cooked: He’s even prepared dinner at Z & Y for President Deng Xiaoping, who led the People’s Republic of China from 1978 to 1989.