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Chinatown's Li Po Lounge is a Portal Into the Past

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Walking through San Francisco’s Chinatown, you may be surprised to stumble across a literal cave in the middle of Grant Street. Welcome to the historic Li Po Lounge, your portal into the 1930s and home to one of the most potent Mai Tais ever to cross our lips.

Typically, a Mai Tai is a combination of rums, lime juice, and liqueur. The Li Po’s Mai Tai recipe is a long-kept secret but it includes Chinese wine and a nutty earthiness that balances the typical Mai-Tai sweetness.

With vintage neon, faded celebrity photos (hi, Anthony Bourdain) and red vinyl booths, the Li Po Lounge is a moment forever caught in time in the midst of San Francisco’s constant changes.

About No Crumbs:

No Crumbs’ host Josh Decolongon dives into the histories and mysteries of Bay Area food culture. Whether he’s explaining the difference between Mission and California-style burritos (spoiler alert: it’s the fries) or tracking down the diner that inspired animated sitcom Bob’s Burgers, No Crumbs will inspire new perspectives on the Bay Area food scene you thought you knew.


Watch more on KQED Food Instagram and YouTube.

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