House of Nan King is great entry level chinese, if your with diverse group or want to woo some tourists who aren't foodies.
If you want something a little more edgy, Z&Y at 655 Jackson Street has an amazing dish called explosive chicken, spiced so good.
Also downtown is R&G lounge, 631 Kearny Street, better quality, nicer ambiance, salt & pepper crab is well renown.
Personal favorite is Mission Chinese Food, located 2234 Mission St. inside another restaurant Lung Shan. It looks rundown, usually has 90's hiphop, and has hands down the most amazing chinese food in SF. This place has been all the rage on food blogs, don't go if you don't like spicy food or if you like panda express!