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Oct 6, 2006 04:18 PM

champa gardens- another plug

I went to lunch here yesterday for about the 4th time. I love chowhounders for discovering this place, I work in east Oakland and this location is doable for lunch where as all the down town recs are a bit to far, not to mention parking. I generally go for the panang curry, which is amazing, best I've had. Thought I should branch out yesterday. Split the fried spring rolls which are of the inside out variety. Meat fried in rolls served with noodles, herbs and sauce, to be wrapped in lettuce leaves. Nice selection of fresh herbs and the dipping sauce was light, spicy and delicious! Then instead of a curry dish I went for a pan-fried dish in curry (I know big stretch), but it made all the difference. It was green beans, choice of meat, lemongrass and curry; don't remember to name, sorry. So instead of a soupy curry sauce (which I always have the urge to embarrass myself with by drinking) all the curry goodness was distilled down into a much thicker coating for the veg and meat, through the pan-frying. And the clearly fresh slivers of lemon grass were abundant, tasty and quite aromatic. All in all the perfect lunch, well two lunches really, is it noon yet? All for about 12 bucks. I would love to come here with more folks, but my office isn't real adventurous, would anyone be interested in lunch?

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  1. That sounds so good, I'm almost drooling.

    There's some sort of East Bay chowdown group. I hope someone will have more info if you want to get on that list. Or maybe put do a post with the title annoucing your own chowdown, mini or major. The format for that is to make an announcement, provide an email address and organize things off line.

    Looking foward to more great reports. Thanks.

      1. re: Cheesy Oysters

        Champa Garden (no "s") is tucked away in a residential neighborhood east of Lake Merritt: 21-something 8th Ave. (at E. 21st.). Not too far from the Parkway Theater, if you know where that is.

        There were already two lunches there organized through the EBChow list, as well as one earlier chowdown there.

        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          Sorry I missed these (out of the country). I'll hold off a bit as these were quite reccent, but I'll try to organise a lunch down the road. Thanks for the links with new dishes to try. And wood ear fungus! glad to know what the tiny mushroom like things in the spring rolls were.

          1. re: sfeater

            You might want to consider organizing a dinner, since that there are undoubtedly people who would like to try it but can't manage to get there for lunch.

            It's a great little spot and deserves all the support we can give it!

            Here's the info for signing up for one of the chowdown groups:




            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              If you do schedule one, count me in! About five of us had dinner there a week or two ago (I had missed the Chow lunches) and I was wowed! I was also impressed at how knowledeable, friendly and efficient the service was, particularly given the small size of the place and compete lack of pretentiousness...highlights included an eggplant salad, sour sausage, that fried rice ball salad (don't miss it), and the angel wings. I could make a meal of those wings!

              and best of all, their house wine is Navarro! A bottle of the Gewurtz was the perfect accompaniment (and not hugely marked up either).

              Cost to stuff ourselves (a few dishes were comped, not sure why but they recognized at least one of our group from the chow lunches), with tax and tip, including a bottle of the Navarro, was $20 each.

              I have friends in the neighborhood, so went right home after dinner and emailed them to say, 'you have to try this place'. And yes, a great alternative to the Parkway's pizza when you want a movie but want a really great dinner before or after.

              One of my favorite finds of the year, actually. A pity I don't live in Oakland anymore...

              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                Folks, please use the Yahoo groups that Ruth listed to organize meetups in the SF Bay area. Thank you.

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