Despite the fact that the Chinese restaurants were one of the founders of the food business in the state of California, it is important to note that there were only a few of them within the state. Most were American restaurants until in the last three decades of 19th century. There were only 14 Chinese restaurants in San Francisco by 1882 when the American congress passed the very first Chinese exclusion act. This was opposed to the over one hundred and seventy-five Chinese laundry stores that were distributed all over the town. One ought to note that it was as a result of the numerous Chinese exclusion laws that were passed between 1882 and 1904 that discouraged the expansion of the Chinese food business despite their spectacular cuisines. The disparity between the Chinese and the American eating culture was evident. It was for this reason that the Americans made rice look like the racial symbol of the Asian inferiority and beef as the American superiority. As a matter of fact, food became a racial ideology and the culture of eating rats in Chinese restaurants made the American doubtful of the hygiene in these restaurants.
The Chinese culture of eating rats was perhaps the most stereotyped image in the 19th century. In 1897, a company that advertised a pest control product used an image of a Chinese man with his mouth open ready to eat a rat which was, as a matter of fact, a rodent. This was an illustration that the Chinese were perhaps the most effective in exterminating these rodents from the face of the earth.