|132 E Street (at Mansion Square)|
|Steve and Jean Lee|
|Cash, Credit cards (Visa, MC; 50-cent charge for under $5, 25-cent charge for over $5)|
Hometown Chinese Food is located in Downtown and is considered by many to have the best tasting Chinese Food in Yolo County, although some people find their food too oily. It is one of the few places in Davis that does both Americanized and authentic Chinese cuisine well. The beef noodle soup, meat gravy over rice, porkchop over rice, and garlic eggplant seem to be the most popular dishes. The new location has counter service only, just like the old location.
According to an employee, the display tray lunch specials have been discontinued; so now all your food will be made-to-order no matter what the time of day you arrive. Steve cooks all the dishes by himself (with one assistant) so this is not "fast food". Speed tends to be a bigger issue during dinner hours (5:30-8pm) - there will be be TONS of people so you will have to wait quite a while even if you pre-ordered by phone. You should either get there early, or buy your food earlier during the day and save it for dinner.
Hometown Chinese Restaurant has been serving rustic, wholesome, and unpretentious Chinese/Taiwanese cuisine to the hungry students and residents of Davis for nearly two decades. It is owned by Mr. Lee, known to his friends as Steve, and his wife Jean. Hometown Chinese Restaurant was first located on Lake Boulevard in the current location of Shanghai Town. It then held a brief stint in Woodland, but relocated back to South Davis at 1601 Research Park Drive, inside South Davis Chevron where Norm's Pizza used to be. Unsatisfied about the location in South Davis, Steve and Jean decided to lease a much larger facility in order to accommodate the growing popularity of the business, especially among students and families of the local community. Hometown Chinese Restaurant is now located at Mansion Square and held its grand opening on February 8th, 2010. Goldtown has now moved into the Chevron location.
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2009-03-09 11:58:42 best Chinese place in davis. —Raydiant
2009-03-17 19:14:25 This place is sooo good, they practically feed me three times a week. You guys should try their tomato beef, oh and there hock meat is also really really good. Defintely the best Chinese food place in Davis. —3balls
2009-04-22 21:02:00 This place is WAY overrated. I went in tonight around 8 to get some take out. I guess they were cleaning up or whatever, but there was no food out. Anyways, I got the special of rice, chowmein and sweet and sour chicken. I asked if I could substitute fried rice instead of steamed rice and she said "no its too hard for him to make just a little bit." which is understandable, I guess.
So then I come home, open my food and see that it's basically noodle, rice and chicken coated with sweet and sour sauce you can buy at safeway. neither the chowmein or sweet and sour chicken had ANY VEGGIES in there. "chowmein" was basically just noodles, oil and pepper. it had no taste so I actually had to use some soy sauce with it.
Sweet and sour pork was pretty gross too. He probably just fried the chicken (that's been coated with whatever that is already) and then just pour some sauce on it.
that thing cost me 7.07. "reasonable prices" my ass. I can get like a 3 entree dish at panda express for less than that. I was very angry and disappointed. That's seven bucks I'll never see again. I wonder if they do refunds or do "customer service" type of thing because I really want my money back. It's probably the worst chinese food place I've ever been to in my life. Will NOT be returning there unless they give me my money back or give me a free dish. Ugh. —JFountain
Wow, you're dense. Coming from someone who has worked in a Chinese restaurant before, it's true, making a small side of Fried rice is not very economic, because the amount of labor that goes into cooking Fried Rice is more than you think. The easiest way is to make a large batch. You're the type of person that creates a hard atmosphere for Chinese cuisine to work. If you want bastardized Chinese food, go to Panda Express, but don't spout your inexperience of Chinese cuisine on a page that deserves more uplifting responses. By the way, Panda Express uses this same fashion to cook their Sweet & Sour chicken, it's a batter around chicken pieces, deep fried, and then coated with Sweet & Sour sauce. Before you criticize a business's method of creating a cuisine, how about you educate yourself in how the dish is commonly prepared? -IdealParadigm
So I guess my first question is why didn't you try to resolve this issue before making a smash-and-grab anonymous post? That would have been the right thing to do. But since you didn't, I took the liberty of asking Jean and Steve if they would give you your money back. They said yes, of course they would. But then, likely as not, it doesn't matter because you'll only be using daviswiki to trash businesses anonymously and can't be bothered with a dialog, either here or with the Lee's. -JimStewart
Esp for those who went to the "Talk" page of this comment: I had no intention of "smash-and-grabbing" their business. I guess it came out rather harsh than it should have. I am not sure where some readers thought that I left a "one line criticism", because I provided as much detail as possible. I was very disappointed with the food, and did not get a chance to address it to the owners because I didn't open it until I got home, sat down to eat it. I wasn't "taking advantage" of the fact that it's over the internet and it could be "anonymous". It was more of a rant, and most likely giving the readers of daviswiki the other end of the restaurant, coming from my experience. All I could find on the page was very misleading to my experience - most, if not all of my experiences with other restaurants based on daviswiki has been pretty much accurate. This one was not. I suppose whoever disagree with my comments can express their own opinions. —JFountain
Dear JFountain, we apologize for your displeasure. Sweet and sour chicken is just deep-fried battered chicken drizzled with sweet and sour sauce and that is how we make it. If you are willing to give our establishment another chance, we recommend something more authentic that you can't get from say, Panda Express. If you want your money back, then please stop by and we will gladly return it. Once again, we apologize for your negative experience at our restaurant. -Steve&Jean (Owners)
2009-05-07 12:09:22 Hometown is the real deal. Been a fan since 96' Its a shame to see someone compare the quality/prices of food to Panda express(the americanized fastfood of asian cuisine) you probably think Taco Bell is real mexican food too. Thats a shame "if" your service was bad, I dont see how, they are truly nice people & make excellent food, sesame chicken & the eggplant are awesome. as with any good food there is sometimes a wait & the place can be packed at times, but then again thats a sign of good food.
2009-05-07 12:18:54 Because this place had gotten such stellar reviews on the Wiki, my husband and I decided to try it. Maybe we ordered the wrong things, but I wasn't very impressed. I am used to Chinese food not being the healthiest cuisine with its sugary sauces, but the grease level in the dishes we ordered was almost shocking. We ordered a couple chicken dishes (sorry, can't remember which), and the eggplant in garlic sauce, which came highly recommended. Everything was greasy, but the eggplant really took the cake. It was actually unedibly greasy for me. —AmLin
2009-06-15 00:58:26 ate there the other day with a friend during finals week...and the food might've been good if it didn't take almost an hour! when we got there it was busy and i've heard there's only one person (or 2 people at night) cooking so i can forgive it taking a bit of time, but our wait time was ridiculous. we watched SEVERAL people come in after us, order their food, and then leave with it, and we were still waiting! my friend had to go remind the lady at the register to make ours...and guess what, 5 minutes later we got our food. like i said i think it was good but we ate so fast b/c we had to go study that i dont really even know what it tasted like...but i'm willing to try it again, maybe when its not so busy. —KTFreeman
2009-06-23 21:35:52 This is by far the best and most authentic of Chinese cooking in Davis - dripping with spicy oils, and full of delicious flavors. And yes, it's in a gas station. Who cares? It's spotlessly clean, and the service isn't service, it's order at the counter. Who cares again? The food is awesome. Hilarious that someone could compare this to Panda Express — just because your taste buds desire high fructose corn syrup and piles of sodium doesn't mean that others won't be able to appreciate a kick-ass dose of some Szechuan chilies. If you want fried rice and potstickers, go wherever. If you want the most authentic cooking in Yolo County, try Hometown. —jmofro
Well said —JimStewart
2009-07-07 15:01:49 I am completely surprised by the negative reviews. I've eaten here for at least three years. Jean and Steve are always consummate hosts. Even though they often are serving thirty people and have many long-time clients, they always try their utmost to attend to you. Those who've had bad service need to remember that, at any restaurant, the squeaky (but polite) wheel gets the grease. They've always made sure I had the right sauces, boxes to take food home, and when the restaurant is closing have checked up on how I'm doing. I've eaten Chinese food in ten states in two countries, and this remains the best place I've ever had the pleasure of eating at. It's authentic, delicious, holds up in the refrigerator... And I've brought more than twenty of my friends here, all of whom love it. It's not for everyone, but it is amazing food. I know a few friends who prefer this place to locations in the Bay Area!
And, frankly, for those who complain: There is not a SINGLE item on the menu that's more than $10. Even if you get three entrees, you can feed mammoth-size eaters for less than $20. Cheap, fast Chinese food that's served out of a gas station with only a few staff? Even if you don't like your experience, you're only out a pittance. This is especially true considering that the food holds up in the fridge, so any leftovers are far from wasted.
My recommendations? The Singapore Curry Noodles are best chilled. Get them to go and have them the next day. Their Fried Pork Chop is flavorful and tender both over rice and on its own. Their over-rice dishes are some of the best deals you can get in town. I'm a fried rice connoisseur, and the fried rice here is delicious without being greasy. Bites of fresh-cooked egg suffuse every part of the rice. The Beef Noodle Soup is spicy (and, again, amazing the next day chilled), with giant chunks of well-stewed tender beef. The Black Pepper Beef and Szechuan Beef have kick. The Garlic dishes have amazing kick to them. And, since it's in a gas station, you have dozens of beverage choices at a nominal price to choose from. I typically go for the $1.99 for the 64 oz soda.
My only complaint is about the wait during rush time (which only goes to show how good and authentic the food is). To avoid this problem, come later than 8:00 or, preferably, before 4:00. FredericChristie
2009-08-02 12:23:53 i love chinese food more than any other food in the world and i have to say this was some of the worst chinese food i've ever had. To the people who said it was the best in yolo county, its not even the best in davis and you apparently you've never had good chinese. Atleast i can the say they didn't screw up my white rice, however even that would be hard to do. Avoid this place, its not good americanized or actual chinese —jewbaca
Yes... let's insult people that come straight from Taiwan/China about their cuisine because apparently you have more experience with Chinese food, EATING it rather that PREPARING it. Good call there. -IdealParadigm
"...apparently you've never had good chinese." It is unfortunate that you did not have a good experience; but please do not mock the people that come from China/Taiwan or those who grew up in Chinese homes that have eaten authentic Chinese food their whole lives and vouched for this place —BenLee
What BenLee said. Hometown is usually full of people who would appear to know what good Chinese food is. Comments like yours make me wonder if you might somehow be related to Hometown's competition. —jimstewart
As someone who did not grow up eating authentic Chinese food, I have to ask: Is authentic Chinese food so greasy? The times I have been to HCF, the food had a lot of oil in it. That's not what I prefer, both for health and for taste. And no, I am not connected to any of HCF's competitors. —CovertProfessor
If it is too greasy for you, you can go ahead and request less oil or salt. The chef has no problems cooking to request as long as its nothing very tedious during busy hours. BenLee
Hmm, you didn't really answer my question. It wasn't rhetorical; I genuinely would like to know the answer. —CovertProfessor
Just like most cuisines, there will be dishes that are greasy and dishes that are not. I grew up eating vegetable dishes that were not oily and meat dishes that were mostly oily and heavy. This was balanced out with plain steamed white rice and soup with little salt. —BenLee
Ah, ok. I had always been told that Chinese food with lots of oil was Americanized Chinese food, and that authentic Chinese food was much healthier. Perhaps others on this page who don't think the food at HCF is authentic have the same misconception that I did. Does HCF serve any non-oily vegetable dishes (other than one you can request specially)? I don't think I've seen them on the menu. It would be a welcome addition, from my perspective. —CovertProfessor
Chinese food is like any other food, it can be healthy or unhealthy, but there are several different styles. Saying that food is "Chinese" actually covers a wide range of foods. It can be Schezwan, Taiwanese, etc. America just has classified all these types of food to be "Chinese" and thus there are many misconceptions on just how wide the food spectrum that label covers. In the scheme of things, Professor, any food can be healthy, it's just a matter of how it is prepared, what's in the food, and the cooking/baking/stewing process, not the origin or possible cultural attachment it may have. -IdealParadigm
2009-11-04 01:35:13 I was wondering, is this place moving? Because I saw the exact same restaurant name on this (currently) closed store in Mansion square. —Eirin
The restaurant will be closing at it's current location by the end of November. The one at Mansion Square is the new location and should be up and running by January 2010. —BenLee
2009-11-10 16:00:49 I don't know if this place is the "best" in Davis (I'd probably vote for Jade Garden)... but it's pretty darn close. Very authentic Chinese food, no complaints from me.
This is probably the only Chinese place I've ever been to, where I'm satisfied with the food in the "buffet" warming trays. It's usually cooked very fresh (no more than 15 minutes from the wok during lunch hours)... and tastes great. My only gripe/complaint/hope: more variety. Seems like it's been the same 6 dishes all week. —ChonT
2009-11-24 20:29:21 BEST CHINESE FOOD IN DAVIS! Kind staff, great food, only issue is the wait, but that is because it is so popular. I hope they have the opportunity to expand and hire more people someday. —JSlice
2009-12-01 21:13:53 I went to the gas station tonight and discovered that there is a new tenant in the Chinese restaurant. The new establishment is called "Gold Town." Its menu emphasizes dishes from Shanghai, although some of the Hometown's Taiwanese staples are still on the menu. The food was good, but not as good as Hometown's. The young man who took my order said Hometown will re-open in a new location in downtown Davis in January 2010. I'm looking forward to it! —Pwu133
2009-12-02 01:39:59 I'm super excited, it's opening up where the chaat cafe used to be, I noticed signs on the window about a month ago (I work at Zen Toro, they are in the same complex). —AlvinTsao
2009-12-06 00:17:42 the chaat cafe is now Agave...
Hometown is replacing the Nepalese restaurant, which is above Thai Recipes. (same complex as Zen Toro and Kaplan) —jentruong
Before there was a Nepalese (or wasn't it Indian? Indyna Bistro?) restaurant in that location, there was a New Delhi Chaat Cafe... different than the Chaat cafe that was where Agave is now. Hard to keep all the restaurant changes in Davis straight! —CovertProfessor
2010-01-07 11:48:03 any news on when the new location opens? I live in Elk Grove so can't randomly drive by 132 E Street to find out. —druboni
2010-01-07 18:42:20 I am hankering for this place to open again. When in January will it be open? I heard so many different dates that I don't know which to believe. It may seem odd, but try the orange chicken. People just think "gross, Americanized orange chicken." However, this place will make you have a new-found appreciation for orange chicken. —David-D
2010-01-19 12:24:00 There's a big sign at the new E Street location that says COMING SOON IN JANUARY. There are people inside the new location everyday doing construction. So far, it looks like all the flooring, painting, and lighting are done. Looks like it will be open before the month ends. —KimL
This has been changed to "COMING SOON IN FEBRUARY," so I guess there is a delay... —SunjeetBaadkar
2010-02-02 15:26:16 I talked to Mrs. Lee this morning. She said they should be open on Monday the 8th. —JimStewart
2010-02-03 22:10:52 NOOOOOOOO goodbye —betabeta
2010-02-11 13:48:51 I'll have to say, great food. My friends and I were impressed the first time we went so we came back today for lunch.. approx an hour ago.
I'll probably never go again... There's this one girl who was wearing a dirty pair of dishwashing gloves; she wore these gloves THE WHOLE TIME she was carrying out clean plates, scooping rice, busing tables, etc etc. Funny thing was that we saw her scoop up some rice with that same damn pair of gloves on, and seconds later our orders were called. May the best man get diarrhea... —Col
Dear Col, we were unaware of this situation. Thank you notifying us and we promise it'll never happen again. Thank you for your patronage and we hope you'll give us another chance. (On a side note: sometimes we do use yellow dishwashing rubber gloves to exchange tubs of rice as the containers are heated metal. These gloves, however, are solely for exchanging rice between containers and are not for dishwashing. -Steve&Jean (Owners)
2010-02-11 17:21:09 The new opening is much bigger and nicer ambience than their previous location inside a gas station. But that's all that I can attest to because when I went there at 4:30 today, hoping to beat the dinner crowd, I was informed that one of their chefs was sick and I couldn't order anything until past 5pm. I wanted to see if their quality was up to par at this new location but just not my luck today. I noticed their prices are higher than before: Chicken, pork and beef dishes are all now $7.95 and their seafood is $8.95. I wanted to see their new Bubble Tea drinks menu but I could not find them. I ended up going to Jade garden instead. —KimN.
2010-02-12 16:58:00 Hooray! I'm so happy that Hometown is open again. I went last night to pick up dinner to go, and the dining room was filled with happy customers. The food was flavorful and cooked perfectly. And Jean, the owner who works the register? She's so nice! I'll be back again and again. —Pwu133
2010-02-12 21:00:02 I am a loyal customer of hometown when it was in the research park drive. I went there tonight after their new opening. The food there is still good.
However, there is only one chef and the waiting time is REALLY unacceptable. It
took us about 1 hour and 5 minutes until we get our food since we start waiting
in the order line. It's not worth the time. I think I would never go there again
if they are not improving the waiting time. —echo
Dear echo, first of all thank you for continuing to be a patron of our business. This was our first week, so we were still trying to get used to our new arrangement and working out the kinks of our business, including buying more inventory each morning because we seem to run out after every night. We actually have two chefs working in the back, and are already in the process of hiring another one; our kitchen space is very limited so it might take time. We don't like to keep customers waiting, just as much as the they don't like waiting long times for their food. We apologize for the long wait and hope that you will come back. -Steve&Jean (Owners)
2010-02-16 01:42:44 Just tried out the new location. The food is great as always, no complaints there. The only thing I can recommend is to make sure that the employees work on their customer service skills. The male employee earlier this evening was a little rude, didn't seem happy to be servicing people, didn't smile, or really even seem to acknowledge us as customers. Customer service skills are really important and I don't want this place to feel like old teahouse. Do try to get the employees to be a little more cheery and hospitable. Other than that, the food again is excellent. I especially love the Spicy Fish and the Spicy Chicken with Basil. —ThUn
2010-02-16 22:47:46 Just tried out the new place. The Beef Hock & Gravy over rice was excellent and not oily (which is hard to accomplish considering the ingredients), the Fried Chicken Wings were good but could have used a little garlic or chili peppers. I also liked the Pork Ears but they could have been sliced slightly thinner (but the male owner acknowledged this without me actually mentioning anything). Will probably try the place another 2-3 times before I write a final review.
I went on an off time (3pm), the food came out really fast, it seemed peeking at the kitchen that they have more people working in there now. So hopefully those of you who were put off from the opening week craziness will find it better. —AlvinTsao
2010-02-17 17:43:12 only thing i've really eaten here is the garlic eggplant, but its so freakin good i can't really ever be bothered to try anything else. garlic eggplant is my favorite chinese menu item wherever i go, and it's amazing at hometown. i also like to add meat to it...dont remember how much it costs but its worth it...so delicious!
i love the new location downtown, more seating, not so sketchy looking next to the gas station and much easier to get to on a bike b/c i HATED going over the overpass into south davis, i practically never went there like i wanted to b/c its death on a bike >.> the only "problem" is you will probably wait a little bit for your food, but its understandable considering the dude's back there by himself so im not complaining...and its def. worth the wait! —KTFreeman
2010-02-18 16:16:57 Frankly, I love hometown. It is by far my favorite place to eat in Davis (this includes fancy places like Mustard Seed and cheap ass McDonalds). Jean is the nicest lady, and Steve makes everything delicious. I can't wait to go again tonight. Yum! —eryan
2010-02-19 12:30:51 Arguably the best Chinese eatery in Davis - period. I have yet to experience terrible wait-time but that is likely due to the fact that the times I've gone were not during peak hours. Moreover, the food is great the prices are reasonable (although they rose slightly - likely to cover the cost of the new location). I assume they will be installing a soda fountain at the new location because selling soda at $1.50 a can is ridiculous. Also, they will soon have bubble tea which will only add one more reason to love Hometown :) —blastoff
2010-02-22 18:04:58 Food is good, but i thought the old prices were too high for the amount of food they gave. :( —lovindavis
2010-02-25 10:11:04 I've been a long time fan. Went to the new location yesterday and loved the ambiance, although there seems to be some confusion about whether it wants to be fast food or a sitdown restaurant. My dad and I dined in and our food came on nice plates, but the water cups were styrofoam. The food is as good as ever though. —Risky
2010-02-25 23:56:12 Tried it recently. The food was good, and I would definitely go back. I ordered a non-spicy dish, but it had lots of red pepper in it, and my mouth was definitely burning as I ate it. The rice could use a little work. It was rather dry, although very plentiful. The restaurant itself was very nice. Food came within about 4 or 5 minutes. I was disappointed that they were using styrofoam cups. Those are definitely bad for the environment. They should switch to reusable glass cups. Prices were a little bit high for the amount of non-rice food that they gave me. I'd have preferred it if there were more of the dish and less rice. But overall, pretty good. —IDoNotExist
This is fun, we always seem to be busting each other's chops. Anyway, study is a bit outdated (dishwashers are more efficient but manufacturing processes probably increased in efficiency as well) but gives you something to think about: http://sustainability.tufts.edu/downloads/Comparativelifecyclecosts.pdf —hankim
The problem with styrofoam is that it takes up a lot of space in landfills, never degrades, and in some cases, winds up floating in the ocean. There is an island of floating trash the size of a state in the middle of the Pacific. —IDoNotExist
2010-02-26 09:52:55 Good pictures, Steve. You blinked (a favorite word of mine) though - better retake that one. Nice shirt. Hi Jean. —BruceHansen
2010-03-03 19:22:31 I've been coming to hometown for a number of years, with mostly good experiences. One of the problems at their prior location was the long wait times - I would usually make sure to stop by either for a quick lunch or an early dinner, and would not bother to even try to order a meal around 6-7pm. I love hometown though, so we tried their new location during peak dinner hours. I was a little worried at first seeing a line of 7-8 tickets in front of our order, but we waited no more than 10-15 minutes. Thanks for working to fix that Jean & Steve. Hope you guys do well in your new location!
If you haven't tried hometown and want something other than their americanized fare (which is actually quite good), I recommend the beef noodle soup, hock pork over rice, or noodle with
minced pork (the last having a hint of heat, in case you stray from spicy food). yum.. —rgysel
2010-03-15 14:20:29 My wife and I went here for the first time today for lunch. When we walked in we received a lively, friendly greeting, followed by a comment from (I'm assuming) Jean that I look "just like Clark Kent!"
We both got the lunch special: $6.99 for massive quantities of food, consisting of two entrees, fried rice, and chow mien-style noodles. This is around $1.50 more per person than Hunan, and drinks are somewhat pricey ($2 for a Snapple, and I think $1.50 for a can of soda). The quality of the food makes up for the price, though. Bekka got a shrimp and eggplant dish and the General Tso's chicken, while I got the General's and a spicy fish dish. All three dishes were absolutely delicious! My only complaint—and it's a minor one—is that the rice in the fried rice was a bit under-cooked.
As we were leaving, Jean said she hoped to see me flying by sometime, and mimed Superman. Needless to say, I'll be returning again soon. And I might wear blue and red spandex. —TomGarberson
2010-03-17 01:05:08 It's like the upgraded old tea house. One thing about this restaurant is- they charged me for using a foreign credit card. I have been using that credit card for years in the states and I've had used that credit card in other places such as Japan, Korea, UK...but that was the first time that I paid an extra fee for using a foreign credit card. Well, the bank sometimes charge me for currency conversion. So when Jean ,one of the owners, told me that, I was like, "oh really, I never heard of that before". She then answered as if I owned her a million dollars,"yeah, of course of course you don't know. you are not the one who is paying for the fee. we are! we also pay for so many other things, of course you don't know " I was thinking why the hack she's talking to me like that..I didn't feel like arguing with her, however, seriously, I was annoyed by her attitude. That was ridiculous....If she said" we are paying for so many bills and maintenance fee, hope you will understand that ", I would have paid the fee without being annoyed. —notathome
2010-03-19 09:29:06 So, I have to admit, the food is really good. Not necessarily cheap though... $58+ for a dinner for 2 Adults and 2 kids and drinks. Went back for a Tapioca at lunch time the other day and was utterly disgusted when the ?owner? was talking on the phone and clipping her nails by the lunch buffet thingy. Totally gross, nail clippings flying everywhere. —Your2Cents
2010-03-20 19:54:12 I love this place! I always get the pork chop over rice and their tapioca drinks. Very reasonably priced and really delicious! —StellaTo
2010-04-12 00:11:35 All my friends and I approve of this place. Here, spicy actually means spicy, and orange chicken actually means orange flavored chicken. And the owner lady is really really nice! By the way, isn't it common for Chinese food to be on the greasy side? I don't quite understand the negative remarks about the food being too greasy... —susiekim
2010-04-19 13:43:17 chinese foods are often greasy because of one simple reason: less work for the cook. As we all know, chinese foods are cooked on a "wok" and they tend to stick with tremendous high heat. With excessive among of oil, the food can easily be stirred around; therefore, less rubbing and cleaning and faster cooking cycle. —lazifocker
2010-04-20 19:05:14 That previous comment may be true for a small amount of Chinese cooking, but not all Chinese food is greasy; most Americanized Chinese food is though. We have found this place to be pretty authentic and non-greasy, except when we have ordered stuff that isn't thought to be "real" Chinese food in China. —jsbmeb
2010-05-17 12:31:12 I don't like the price of the food here. Its way too expensive for what you get. I would much prefer to go eat at Hunans. I also have tried their tapioca, which was really terrible. I didn't even finish it. I ordered green tea and I'm not sure what she put in it, but it wasn't green tea. It tasted like this melon gourd drink I've had in Taiwan. The tapioca wasn't cooked right and I could tell that it was old and soggy. —sophiaxtai
2010-05-25 21:58:39 I just ate here tonight with a party of 8. First the good. The Chinese food here is IMO the best in Davis and all the food I sampled was fantastic. The food came out super fast. So fast, in fact, that our party had not finished ordering when the first dishes started coming out. Now the not so good. As others mentioned the price is a bit high for the amount of food you receive. Also, they charge a $.25 fee per credit card transaction. This surprised a couple people in my party after they read their receipt. (there was no sign) Overall this place is pretty good and I'll eat here again. Just not every day. —ARWENNHOLD
2010-06-02 13:39:46 good food, but way overpriced for the small portions. —danielliu
2010-06-07 17:38:32 I love Hometown, definitely one of the best Chinese food in Davis. I like the old location much more though, so much easier to find a place to park. —xgen
2010-06-07 21:52:08 This place is pretty awesome! Love their new place, it presents a relaxing eating atmosphere. I felt welcome where, Jean asked for my help to open a jar for her, it brought a smile to my face and reminded me of home with my family :) I had the curry noodles, Steve recommended them to me and I find myself craving for the dish sometimes! One thing that I also love here is their Royal black tea, PLEASE NEVER CHANGE the way your make your black tea! It's delicious! Other boba tea places in Davis make their black tea too bitter for my taste, it's perfect and refreshing here. Thank you! Prices are a little more compared to other places, but who cares! It's well worth it when you have awesome services, environment, and food! I'd differently go here again and recommend it to all. —BeanMarine
2010-06-13 01:33:58 me and friends come here for chinese food...nowhere else. i haven't tried all of their menus cause i'm really hesitant but i got their walnut chicken which was really amazing(walnuts and chicken go very well), though quite pricey. my friend always gets the taiwanese pork chops which is a big dish and it's cheaper than my walnut chicken! other friends say that the beef noodle soup is heavenly but it just taste like noodle soup to me. overall, it's possibly the best chinese restaurant in davis. for now.
ps. don't bother the employees if possible. just sit quietly and wait. seriously, from their stern faces it seems like they are going to explode if you even whisper a complaint. —binladen
2010-07-19 15:02:40 Best Chinese place in Davis. The owners are extremely nice and friendly, and they always remember us when we come in. Thanks for the great food! It's so comforting to eat some of the (cooked well!) food I grew up with. I've only had their boba tea once, and I found it to be quite enjoyable. The only downside is that sometimes the food can take a while to come out due to limited manpower, but I always find it worth the wait. —Adalwolf
2010-07-21 03:31:29 I love this place! Coming from San Francisco I've had a very large variety of Chinese food, and this is what I consider the Best Chinese food Davis. I missed it dearly for the period of time when they were relocating the venue from the gas station to the current downtown location!
Side note: The owners seem to speak numerous dialects of Chinese. Bonus! —ClarenceL
2010-07-26 19:00:04 I was introduced to this place by a few friends when it re-opened and I LOVE it! My friends are more traditional with their Asian cuisine while I am more Americanized, but all of us are able to find something we love on the menu. I thought that their prices were a bit high, but recently they seem to have changed their menu and portions a bit. The owners are always very nice, and the wait has never been long for me, but I've never been when it is busy. Not too greasy for me, but I expect Chinese to be on the greasy side. This is now my go-to for Chinese; better prices than Old Tea House, better flavor than anywhere else. —DaniD
2010-09-08 11:55:03 This place is delicious. I come here to get their Pork meat gravy over rice with a black or green tea. and it's only 5 bucks! The bowl also comes with boiled egg. I also really enjoy their hock pock (I think that's waht its called) with rice, boiled egg, and green veggies. So delicious. These are the main two things I get, I have tried other dishes (family style) with friends and they were also delicious but it was a while back and I didnt catch the names of the dishes. —anonymon
2010-09-17 18:55:32 While the food is good, I hope that I am just a victim of "at the wrong place at the wrong time in the wrong condition." I was starving and honestly wasn't in a very tolerable mood, and when I heard about the food at this place I went to try for myself during dinner a couple days ago. Honestly that lady in the front needs a lesson in customer service and how to treat other people in general, because her attitude and mannerism just scream the B word all over. Before anyone comments how similar behavior is common among Chinese restaurants, there is a difference between being blunt and direct to save time (as in the case of some restaurants in the Bay Area, Mainland China, Hong Kong, etc) and being a prick for reasons unknown (as in the case of the aforementioned person). If you want to keep a loyal customer base, it'd require more than just good food (my compliments to the chef).
I'd probably come back to this place again for the food, but hopefully I won't have to spend another second dealing with that lady. And yes it took a lot of restraint to write this comment without using any profanity. —Cyr
Wow, I've been going to this restaurant for over 10 years in 3 locations, and they have always been very nice to me. Maybe its you? -NickSchmalenberger
What Nick said. I've know Steve and Jean for 15 years. They have always been nice and I'm proud to call them friends -jimstewart
Just take out a credit card and see the hate radiating from the cashier, and besides you two said it yourself, you've known that person for years—familiarity breeds bias and clouds your judgment on both parties -Cyr
Um, no. I use a credit card at Hometown at least once a week, usually twice. -jimstewart
You still ignored the fact that you've known that person for years. Who will you treat better as a layperson, someone who you've known for YEARS or a STRANGER? I also see that I'm not alone in commenting about instances of rudeness. Listen I'm not here to troll, I am just saying how my first impression of this place is anything but pleasant except for the food. -Cyr
Everyone is entitled to their opinion on Daviswiki. You maintain that someone there was rude to you. I maintain that I've known the owners for years and they have *never* been rude to me or to any other customers in my presence. Why would they treat you differently than me, and apparently most of their customers? I don't know. -jimstewart
Agreed, hence I gave that person the benefit of the doubt by saying that I hope I was a victim of "being there at the wrong place at the wrong time." IF I were acting like a dick in the first place (as you and your friend had "cleverly" implied), then I would not have been surprised by the treatment I received. The fact remains that I was just paying for a meal like normal, and that sort of treatment was totally random and unwarranted. If she was having a bad day at that particular instance, I'd appreciate it if she kept that to herself. -Cyr
2010-09-17 23:48:53 i ate here back in 2008 (someone else paid for us), back when it was in its old location. the owners of this place go to the same church I go to (the church in Davis). —PeterHuang
2010-09-26 17:12:12 Ate here for the first time the other night. The food was really good, and the layout of the restaurant was really great. The portions with rice are huge, so I would recommend splitting the food with someone. Also, unlike a lot of Chinese restaurants, when they say 'spicy' they mean it. For those of you who aren't used to real spice, I would not recommend anything with a pepper next to it on the menu. —Kipusa
2010-10-05 15:34:12 The General Chicken and the chow main were very yummy. But I don't think I would get the lunch special again after 1 because my food was pretty cold. —Davekhuh
2011-01-24 22:47:21 They make the best eggplant, fish, and fried pork chop. The drinks are really good!! —kobe24
2011-02-07 14:38:54 Food and service both sucks!!! There are much better places to go in Davis for Chinese. —kumi
2011-02-27 18:09:12 I love this place. They serve REAL Chinese food, with real ingredients you can taste the realness in...so real. No seriously, their egg flower soup rocks my socks, and the orange chicken actually tastes like oranges instead of orange syrup. A tad greasy, but that's the only negative thing I have to say. Hometown is in a league of their own when it comes to Chinese in Davis. —WikiChiki
2011-04-30 12:18:26 I really like the food here, a lot. If you get a plate of food, just food and not the combo, you get a decently large portion for just another 50 cents when compared to the food/rice combo. Problem is, every single time I've tried to order a plate instead of a combo, they give me the combo anyways, essentially robbing me of 50 cents. The wait times tend to be so long that I'm practically starving by the time I get my food, so I don't want to ask them to remake the order because I don't want to have to wait even longer. Without fail, even coming in about 10 minutes after opening and being the only table in the restaurant, my food always takes at least 20-30 minutes to make. One time, I came in for lunch had to wait for almost 40 minutes. I've been there maybe 6 times; 4 of the times I asked for a plate of food, and instead was given the combo. Every time the wait was so long, regardless of the time of day, that I did not want to contest it. Not that big of a deal I guess, but it is annoying. The food is good, but the service is awful. Makes me sad because the people running the place are so nice, but at this rate I'd almost rather get panda express- sure, the food isn't as good, but I get what I order and it doesn't take forever to receive it. edit: Just went back today (same day as this review) to give it another try (their food IS good), and everything was made fairly quickly and the order was correct. Hopefully this becomes a trend.—AndrewJacobs
2011-06-17 16:01:12 I liked it better when they were at the gas station. Then I felt like I was in on a secret. Now they have a beautiful restaurant and most people seem to recognize them as the best Chinese food in the County and I no longer feel as special for agreeing. Favorite here is the Sezchuan and Hunan Beef though they're basically indistinguishable. —MikeyCrews
2011-07-30 02:31:30 been here a couple of times. The food is pretty enjoyable and it's pretty cheap as well. I recommend people try it if they have no yet done so. I've had a noodle and rice dish and both were fairly good —C.Ling
2011-10-04 15:57:03 Haven't ordered from here about 2 quarters ago not bc they were bad. Just trying other local restaurants out but lately during this FALL quarter decided to try their cooking again.
ONE THING haveee to agree on is Townhouse is overrated on their food. Really isn't that special coming from an Asian student customer. Now i am complaining about their food but the drinks are very agreeable and they offer a decent selection of popular milk tea tapioca drinks. If the owners are reading this, then please know I am SUPER surprised by how some of the food dishes are made. Ordered beef broccoli entree togo and when i got home....I realized that it's just thin strips of meat with 6 pieces of broccli thrown on top & mixed into it. WILL NOT RECOMMEND their BEEF dishes bc of the way the beef is cut ( thin thin salty strips) === SORRY I'm very disappointed & upset with how the food was prepared.
However i do admit that their chicken dishes that I have tried === usually no problem but I still find their food to be salty sometimes. I've only tried their Chicken & Beef dishes plus their TEAS, of course! I've chatted with the owners before & they are nice chatty people when they have time to converse but that's a separate issue i'm addressing which is the food they serve, not their service. The service provided by the owners or the young cashiers were never a problem. The atmosphere, ambiance, and location of Townhouse is well kept + clean but it's primarily their food that disappointed me again. FYI, perhaps this is preference too but I DONT prefer my food oily, salty, and tastes like MSG. If Hometown doesn't use MSG, then perfect....relieved to know but even on good days with their Chicken mix vegetables, it can taste bit salty too. If your palette prefers more oily and salty food, then u can meet those taste buds here.
CONs of food = depend on which entrees, food is just mixed together, bit too salty & oily, can taste the MSG in food, & a bit pricier compared to other asian/ chinese restaurants for what you can get.
PROs = obviously Townhouse is at a decent location bc i come here on days just for DRINKS andddd MILK TEAS = convenient, good SERVICE even when busy ( i understand busy hrs can get hectic, so okieeee!), ALSOOO lastly at least the place is maintained & KEPT CLEAN.
But on top of it, hear me out that I am not the only one who is dissatisfied with the way of how some of their dishes are just mixed together = yuckkk & not really authentic at all when the food is just mixed/ smashed together! Sincerely hope Old Teahouse will change their ways of preparing the entrees. I will not return to order their food dishes anymore. DRINKs sure!!! BUT definitely will not recommend their food! —somethingaboutemmy
2011-10-19 13:11:05 Had A la carte (no rice)-take out here today, and the food was decent. If you are looking for traditional, non-Americanized Chinese cuisine in Davis, this is pretty close to it. The portions are small ( I am a big guy, but I think I got charged up the *** for the food they gave me). It does remind of home and Chinese food in the Bay Area (My parents would go out every weekend for family dinner). I ordered Hunan Beef, Szechuan Fish, and Shredded pork with dry bean curd (classic!). Dishes were very good. Came out to be $28 dollars (paid wit plastic). The lady at the register who took my order, Jean, was very nice and chill. I'd probably come back here again, if I had the money. —JournaL
2011-10-20 19:11:36 Best Chinese food in Davis! Highly recommend! Love the spicy eggplant and the spicy chicken with basil! :)
2011-10-27 13:20:52 The service was so BAD that me and my family was insulted on a personal level.
I needed to use the restroom, after not finding one in the restaurant I realized that it was outside. When I went out to the restroom I saw that it required a key. When I went back into the restaurant to ask for the key, the owner lady scolded me for not asking for the key before I went out there. Here's the conversation verbatim:
Me: "Can I have the key for the bathroom?"
Owner Lady: "Why didn't you ask me for the key before you went out there?"
Me: "Because I didn't know I needed a key."
Ownder Lady: "What kind of person goes to the bathroom without the key?"
Me: *Complete disbelief*.
The only logical conclusion I can come to is that she simply crazy. Matter of fact, I hope she is indeed crazy because I can't imagine a sane person being this rude and insulting.
Frankly, I don't think someone this unpleasant deserves to own a store, or live in Davis.
On an objective note: The food was eatable, nothing special. I was born and raised in Taiwan, so I know what Taiwanese food taste like. For them to market their food as "authentic Taiwanese" food makes me want to puke in disgust. —TheEmperor
I wonder if it might've been intended as a joke. She has a pretty dry sense of humor. She's decided I look like Clark Kent, and has called me Superman with a completely straight face. She didn't laugh until I gave her a very, very confused look. —TomGarberson
Dear TheEmperor, as the owner of this establishment, there is no way I would treat a customer this way. I've been asked for the code to the bathroom countless times, and not once have I made any type of remark similar to that which you have described in your post. Just fyi, the bathroom requires two codes for entry. I also fail to see how being unpleasant has anything to do with being allowed to live or run a business in Davis. I'm sorry if you may have had an unpleasant experience here, but please refrain from fabricating stories to debase our establishment. Thank you.
2011-11-30 17:12:36 We love this place, and my husband is Chinese, so he's super-picky about Chinese restaurants. All their produce is fresh, their meat is high-quality (no gristly stuff), and the flavors are clean. Everything is always great. I have yet to eat anything here I didn't love, from the delicate garlic eggplant to the homey and hearty goodness of pork gravy over rice. Don't come if you're in a hurry, as sometimes the wait can be inexplicably long, or the entrees can come out at radically different times, but when the food finally does come, we're always happy with how good it is. Oh, and the owners and the other people who work there are nice to my kids whenever we come in, which is always a plus. —CynthiaCCC
2012-01-17 18:31:20 I used to love this place and their pork gravy over rice back when they still operated next to the gas station. I was super happy for the owners when they moved into the new place and understood when they had to up the prices (from rent, overhead, etc.). But then I feel like the quality of their food has decreased after moving to the new place. There's a long wait for food (once I ordered soup and it took them a good 40 minutes, and they didn't call me up when it was done—I had to keep checking with them).
The last time my friend and I went, we ordered the minced pork with tofu and the triple treat. The triple treat came out bland and the minced pork with tofu was bitter and left a strange aftertaste. We haven't been back since.
Their tapioca is decent (while not as good as Old Teahouse or Quickly's), but I would stick to their specialties for food: fried pork chop, pork gravy over rice, and the eggplant dishes. —ivana.h
2012-03-12 19:04:21 Phone number is wrong. Keeps taking me to shanghai town —lovindavis
2012-05-18 14:27:34 Chicken in the sesame chicken was very dry. Served to me luke warm. First and last time I'll go to Hometown Chinese. —scevec
2012-05-26 14:37:19 Best Chinese food in Davis! Hands Down
2012-06-11 04:32:11 I came here with a large group (about 9-10) and ordered the twice-cooked pork. I arrived slightly later than the rest of the group, but from what I heard the rest of my group waited upwards of twenty minutes to over an hour. Fortunately the caught up with the orders and I got my food within twenty minutes. My drink was ready much earlier but the waitress barely spoke over the noise; I ended up staring at a drink that looked suspiciously like mine but thought it was another number's. No big, but something worth noting.
Enough complaining. At risk of being crass, it certainly feels like a classier Old Teahouse; the fare is a bit less casual, more restaurant than take-out, if you will. The twice-cooked pork was spicy without being unbearably so, and the bean curd was a nice touch. Wouldn't say no to more pork, but it was still a pretty adequate portion. Ate the entire meal with chopsticks as the fork selection looked a bit grungy ("clean" fork had stuff stuck to it). It was probably one of the better Chinese meals I've had in Davis.
Still, I would definitely give it another shot. To be fair, we did order 8x the same thing, so perhaps it was just an off day. It certainly would be nice if the staff spoke a bit louder and the forks a bit cleaner, but all in all it was a pretty good experience. —HarrisonM
2012-06-26 03:37:32 The lady owner at this restaurant is the most unpleasant owner i have ever met. She has attitude problems. In her best day, you can tell her smile and thank you are not authentic. In her worst day, you do not want to come here unless you are a regular. She seems to treat regulars well and poor students with disdain. The food here is above average. There is nothing special here. If you think otherwise, you most likely never have good chinese food before! —Davisresident2
2012-09-01 01:34:38 Be cautious that they raise the prices but did not update their menu. They refused to refund the extra charges due to their fault. This is cheap. —Jia
I like Hometown a lot, but I'm pretty sure it's considered to fraud to post an item in store at one price and then try to sell it at a higher price. —Mikeycrews
A nuisance and cheap, perhaps, but this behavior does not meet the criteria for fraud. Sixth one down: http://contracts.uslegal.com/frequently-asked-questions/
12024.2. (a) It is unlawful for any person, at the time of sale of a commodity, to do any of the following:
(1) Charge an amount greater than the price, or to compute an amount greater than a true extension of a price per unit, that is then advertised, posted, marked, displayed, or quoted for that commodity.
(2) Charge an amount greater than the lowest price posted on the commodity itself or on a shelf tag that corresponds to the commodity, notwithstanding any limitation of the time period for which the posted price is in effect.
It might not be fraud, but I'm pretty sure it is against the law. (Note I am not a lawyer) —JamesKrause
2012-09-20 10:11:18 This is the best food in davis. Steve and Jean have been feeding me for several years. I first discovered this place when it was part of the chevron station and was amazed at the beauty and atmosphere of the new location they opened in D/T Davis. The dining room is one of the nicest you can find in davis. And the food is awesome. I usually get string beans with pork because i usually like heavy greens with my meals, but when i am feeling decadent or depressed, the hock or the pork chop always fit my wants. Jean and Steve are both super friendly and great conversation when they are busy trying to feed half the davis population during their busy hours. —Shinsa
2012-10-19 19:36:28 Awful customer service. I called in a Togo order an hour ago and still haven't received it. They said it would take 20 minutes. Lies —TeenaManginelli
2012-12-01 19:41:04 Absolutely terrible food and service; felt sick after leaving here. After ordering the chicken chow mein which was sopping wet with grease, and the kung pao chicken, I had to wait thirty minutes for the food to be cooked. The owner behind the counter after taking my order demanded my credit card and didn't tell me how much my order was. Totally not worth the time or money. For 5-6 cheaper you can get much better service and food at silver dragon or jade garden. DO NOT EAT HERE!!! —Abdiver17
2013-01-21 11:47:24 I recently ate here with a few friends and here's my particular story of woe. I know most people won't have shared a similar experience but I think it's wrong to treat a customer this way regardless. Long story short, I waited over an hour for my food to be prepared. I went up at half an hour to ask , and was told 'they're literally making it right now.' I went up again at 45 minutes, and was told the same thing. At 50 minutes my friends had finished eating, and I still didn't see my food. By the time it came out, I was about ready to ask for my money back and simply leave the place but like an idiot I didn't. I received the barest whisper of an apology (which I doubt would have happened had I not asked pointedly about what happened - to no avail), asked for a box and promptly left soon afterwards. I doubt I'll be returning any time soon. Of course I can't speak for the 25 or so orders that were served up before mine. —TheOneElectronic
2013-01-31 20:42:16 Service was Awful... went there on a Monday evening and it didn't seem busy at all. Waited for my food for 35 minutes and I went up to see where it was and she said it was cooking. My friend got his food at 40 minutes and I was still waiting. After an hour I went up there and they said it was cooking. Unacceptable for it to take an hour to cook one dish while many others came and left in between. I will NOT be going back here. The food wasn't anything to brag about either, especially after an HOUR wait with no apologies. —HillaryJackson
2013-03-01 21:54:43 extremely awful and disappointing. EXtremely slow, it takes 40minutes for one simple dish &one milk tea. Have been drinking milk tea for years and I can tell from the texture that the taro green milk tea must have been made one tp two days ago. Regular Milk tea taste like water. They also charge a $0.25 credit card fee (while our meal is more than$10) without notifying, nor putting any sign around the restaurant. (there's a notice that says they only accept credit card for purchase above $10, but they didn't tell you that they are still gonna charge a fee even if your meal is more than10) —odsoner
2013-07-01 19:48:07 While definitely delicious (I love the beef noodle soup, and I like the pig ears!), if they are busy, service is ridiculously slow. I am not sure their process for cooking food or how it is normally for other restaurants but it seemed really inefficient. It took almost an hour for my food to arrive on graduation day. While I expected service to be slower, I don't think I have ever experienced service that was this slow even in a full restaurant. Be very cautious if you see a lot of people inside... might be a good idea to call in advance and order for pick-up. —JenniferGiang
2013-07-10 00:42:57 I have eaten here since they were lake boulevard approximately 15 years. The male owner goes by Steve very nice man great food however his wife is the reason I no longer eat here. There is no customer loyalty from her at all. She stares ate you when eating and if you should ask for a extra napkin beware. I spent a lot of money here and always brought many new customers to the owners. There were several times the lady owner that goes by the name of JEAN was so unpleasant to me I finally stop eating here about three years ago. Steve is a great man a good cook with wonderful vision. —bcartoscelli
2013-09-22 03:08:09 If you want to enjoy the place here, then don't come here when it is busy. I heard from my mom who is friends with Jean, that the owners are basically the only people that cook in the restaurant. Which would explain slow services during dinner service as well as a drop in food quality. Like today, I went there with my family for dinner and the place was pretty full. So full that some of my folks didn't get their food until like an hour after ordering. I also got the Beef and Broccoli. The beef and sauce was alright, but the brocoli was bitter. As if they didn't cook it fully before serving. But I wouldn't blame them considering the fact that like 90% of the tables were full at the time. I also wouldn't blame them since, when you get their food at a non-busy time it tastes many times better than what Old Teahouse food can make on its best day. —DarkArchon
2014-09-24 19:17:38 This place is the bomb, they are the only place I know of in Davis who uses white meat for their Kung Pao Chicken, that's why I keep coming. It tastes really good. However, what really sets them apart is the service. My wife came here to get food and they made the Kung Pao with thigh meat. I don't like thigh meat, it has a different taste and all the other Chinese restaurants(Golden Sun, Hunan, Silver Dragon) make their dishes with thigh meat. It was to go so when my wife came home I was disappointed. I called and asked if I could get something else and they totally came through, made the Kung Pao just the way I like it with white meat. Definitely come here for the great food, great service and awesome ambiance. —AndresRojas