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Lunch/Dinner Near Oakland Zoo?

Looking for a decent mid-priced restaurant to take my 9 yr old foodie for lunch or dinner before or after visiting the Oakland Zoo this weekend. Like his mother, he has a refined/adventurous palate, so ethnic/spicy restaurants are fine. Thanks in advance for your help!

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  1. There's nothing near the zoo. You'll want to look to the Fruitvale in Oakland or San Leandro.

    From the zoo, travel to SL is less a hassle.

    1. You are correct!

      Maybe Sparky's burgers at Lincoln Square?

      35th/Redwood road exit toward Oakland.

      Hit or miss, Can be great! or average.

      We always stopped by after Golf at Chabot Golf course.(R.I.P)

      1. I agree with the recommendation to go to San Leandro, check out this post for recs there: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/352803

        1. Compadres Bar & Grill
          4239 Park Blvd

          This is a neighborhood that is near by. Food ok not great, too bad about Purple Plum.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Lori SF

            I really enjoy brunch at Blackberry Bistro across the street, at 4240 Park Blvd. They are not open for dinner, just till 2:30 weekdays, 3:30 weekends, closed Mondays.

          2. I wouldn't consider any of those places particularly chowish, and since they're not that close to the zoo, I don't see the point. One place that might be interesting is the Vientiane Cafe -- a restaurant in the Lao Cultural Center: 3801 ALLENDALE AVE, (510)-535-2218.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              Vientian is really good. Authentic, spicy dishes. It's a mix of Vietnamese, Thai, and Laotian. They can make your dish as spicy as you like. It's in the middle of a residential neighborhood.

              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                This sounds like a great place for us to try! Does anyone know if they have a website? ...Since we're going tomorrow, I need to find a place that's open on Sundays.

                1. re: bourbongirl

                  Here's my post on Vientian (note the idiosyncratic spelling) -
                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...
                  and the website -
                  http://www.laomall.com/vientiancafe

                  Best to call though as it's a small mom and pop to confirm.

                  1. re: bourbongirl

                    My coworker loved the Pad Thai. I tried some and it definitely tasted more "authentic" than versions I've tried. I had the Basa (Vietnamese catfish) lunch special. I usually have it steamed, but this was a panfried version, which was nice and crisp on the outside and tender in the middle. I ordered it very spicy, and it had a good amount of heat with plenty of chilis mixed into the dish. Please report back about what you tried.