I read most of the reviews posted here, the good and the bad ... and I agree with some of both sides. Being an East Coast transplant to the Peninsula, I have excellent food experiences from the restaurants on the East Coast to compare with. Tao Tao, in my opinion, has the best Chinese food in the Bay Area. I have eaten in Chinese restaurants fron San Francisco to Monterey and on both sides of the Bay. I have never had cold food at this restaurant ... the Chinese chicken salad is outstanding (no other Chinese restaurant has anything that compares to theirs). Tao Tao beef has an excellent cut of beef used in it, is tender and very tasty. Other dishes are excellent. I do agree that they, at times, lack the warmth of service. The serving staff, while usually very busy, does tend to pay too little attention to the patrons. This is unfortunate, but true. I can say that many Chinese restaurants have that same demeanor, perhaps it is a cultural thing, don't know. The restaurant is nicely decorated, but the noise level at times can be excessive and makes it harder to talk with the people sharing your table. So, if you can put up with a few minor problems, you will enjoy top quality food selections that can't be beat anywhere. You disagree? Send me the name and location of a better place and I'll try it.
Our first experience eating at this restaurant was quite enjoyable. We ordered one of their dinners for two and it was enough food for four. Although I wouldn't say the chicken salad is to die for, it is very good, as is the Tao Tao beef, which was very tender. The almond duck tasted fine, it was just a little stiff. The wontons in the soup were tasty. It was very busy, but service was fine and the restaurant was nice. Definitely worth trying, and we'll be back to sample more of the menu.
We have been going to Tao Tao for over 25 years. Though we have moved all over the bay area, it continues to be the Chinese restaurant that we compare all other Chinese restaurants to. The perfect order is WonTon Soup, Chicken Salad (best ever), Tao Tao Beef (best ever), Sesame Chicken, and Pork Fried Rice. If you happen to have left overs, they won't make it to the next morning. The food calls to you from the fridge........it's that good!