Z & Y Restaurant, a Chinatown standby for Szechuan specialties at 665 Jackson Street, has expanded down the block with a new sister restaurant, Z & Y Bistro. At 606 Jackson Street, the Z & Y team is now serving Chinese and Japanese items like yakitori skewers, ramen, hot pot, and Lanzhou (stretched wheat) noodles in soup. Customers will also find “Z & Y’s classic food dishes that made us famous,” according to a spokesperson for the restaurant: Think chicken with explosive chili pepper.
With minimal, upscale decor, Z & Y Bistro has been greeting customers at lunch and dinner for several weeks in a soft opening period. A spokesperson says the menu is still being refined. But for now, it includes skewers like grilled chicken thighs, grilled king oyster mushrooms, and Heritage Berkshire pork collar. The bistro offers three varieties of hot pot — beef and vegetables, seafood, and spicy seafood — and several varieties of ramen, like tonkotsu, miso, and soy ramen. There’s also Chinese Lanzhou beef ramen and spicy Szechuan items like mapo tofu with pork.
Z & Y’s chef/owner, Han Lijun, attended culinary school in Beijing and came to San Francisco as the executive chef for the Consulate General of China in San Francisco. The chef, who considers himself an emissary for Chinese cuisine and culture, also operates Chili House at 736 Clement, which opened in 1988.
His newest business is the most contemporary of the bunch and the team’s first fusion cuisine effort. In terms of decor, it’s marked by exposed brick walls, industrial style hanging lights, a marble bar and hanging shelves for a selection of wine, plus marble tables for two. The restaurant also serves beer and wine.
Z & Y Bistro is open daily (except Tuesdays) from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for lunch and 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. for dinner. Stay tuned for more as the restaurant refines its menu going forward.