Mock Duck and Beef Excellent -- No MSG.
Some people complain about the food being bland but you just have to know what to order, the duck is a a great substitute (duck w/spicy garlic sauce is grea) and the beef dishes (mongolian beef) potstickers are also great.
Casual, tasty Vegetarian food - extensive menu.
Tried this out last Friday night. Ambiance/decor is nothing to speak of, but service was attentive and most importantly the food was great! Was disappointed with the seaweed salad we ordered as an appetizer (bland), but the veggie dumplings were yummy with a lot of filling. Our entrees were delicious - we ordered mock pork and chicken dishes with veggie fried rice. Despite the generous portions, we could not stop eating and were glad for the walk back to BART to help kick-start our digestion after stuffing ourselves. If you are looking for a casual vegetarian place with tasty and inexpensive food, I recommend it!
I can't really comment on the service because I only order take out (pick up)- but the food is always great. Some of the idems are... odd- but there are fantastic staples. The chicken and green beans in black bean sauce, chicken fried rice, spare ribs, beef and broccoli, wantons, and veggi buns are my favorates. Stear clear of the soups. Oh, and they filter all their water- so you're "free" water isn't going to be tap quality.
We've gone to Long Life for at least 16 years. During the first years the food and service were excellent. We went regularly and knew all the staff. In the last 5 to 6 years we're reluctant to go there since the food and service varies from poor to excellent . We didn't go there for several years when the food was still consistently good because the service was horrible...one waiter in particular could've won the surliest waiter award! I hope the owners will read this and aim for consistency in food and service. Several of our friends who were "regulars" no longer go there for the same reasons. It is one of the few Chinese restaurants that serve veggie dim sum. I hope when you go there it isn't an "off" day. The owners/managers are friendly. Some of the wait staff are friendly but some of the others .......
My BF and I went there after reading a glowing review in the Bay Area Guardian as "Best Vegetarian Chinese Brunch."
We treked over from SF to sunny Berkley where we ordered some of the dim sum and were largely unimpressed with the food. Generally flavorless and uninspiring seaweed salad, steamed dumplings, vegetables over fried noodles...
yummy and cheap.
The food is very good, there is alot of variety in the menu. The service is temperamental. Some days its great, others, not so great. But it is a Berkeley Favorite and I go there all of the time. It makes me feel weird that I am writing so well about vegetarian when I am a big meat eater normally.