While traditional-style San Francisco dim sum has been a presence in the Avenues and Chinatown forever, recently a small crop of new Chinese spots is starting to break those physical boundaries. M.Y. China and Hakkasan are both high-profile, grandiose projects slated to open downtown in November, and we've already got the new Shanghai in the Castro, just blocks away from the five-week-old Mama Ji's dim sum pop-up at Queen Malika Cafe (4415 18th Street).
If you don't know your way around a dim sum cart, it is time for a vocabulary lesson. Here now, a back-pocket guide based on a deluge of noodly nuggets sampled yesterday at Mama Ji's.