East Bay/SF cheap ethnic food
My boyfriend and I have a deal where we each pick a new restaurant every weekend to check out. The only two requirements are that it is in the East Bay and fairly inexpensive. We both like everything, but I would be interested in anything from various African cuisines to Argentinian to Mexican to Italian to Thai to Indian... Anything goes. Asian food recs are ok, but there is a lot of that around.
Vietnamese - Huong Tra, Barrett at San Pablo in Richmond, just off the freeway. This place is incredible, although not much to look at. My coworkers and I get take-out from here atleast once a week. Very clean, fresh, non-greasy food. The crispy ginger prawns are to die for!!
Mexican - My s.o. will probably be pissed that I'm putting this on the internet, but El Taco Zamorano on Foothill in Oakland (take the High Street exit). He happens to be Mexican and I can't convince him to go anywhere else.
Happy hunting! (And, let us know if you find anything good)
I like Jerusalem Organic Kitchen for ME food--Solano at the Alameda in Berkeley. The chicken comes covered in sesame seeds and is very good as is the lamb schwerma. Everything's great.
Taxi Brousse on San Pablo near Marin has wonderful if limited menu Senegalese food. The beef turnovers are particularly succulent.
Binh Minh Quan - Vietnamese
Battambang - Cambodian
Cafe Colucci - Ethiopian
Champa Garden - Lao / Thai / Vietnamese
China Village - Sichuan
El Huarache Azteca - Mexican
Holy Land - Middle Eastern
Jayakarta - Indonesian
New Pagolac - Vietnamese
Ohgane - Korean
Udupi Palace - Indian
Vik's (closes early) - Indian
Lots of reports on all of these if you use the search.
I like Taxi Brousse too.
I just tried the newly opened Taste of Africa on Shattuck.
Plantanos on University in Berkely has a sister restaurant in El Sorbrante that I like called Kaliente. The Chron recently did a nice review
Along the same lines is El Salvador in West Oakland or El Tazamul in San Pablo
There's also La Bamba in Richmond, but I prefer all of the above first
For ramen there is Ryowa
Cruise International Avenue in Oakland or 23rd St in San Pablo for Mexican. I like Oertez in Oakland a lot. El Tapatio on 23rd in San Pablo has good mocajetes and chavidas. Up a few blocks is Pepitos which has a SUPER outdoor garden. There's also Portumex on 23rd, but I like the other two joints better.
Indian ... my favorites are Indus Village or the newly opened Chaat & Curries. Vik's gets a lot of thumbs up, but haven't tried it yet.
Soul food ... Nellie's in Oakland
Chinese ... not my strong point in terms of knowledge .. but I like China Village on Solano in Albany. It gets thumbs up on the board too.