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May 13, 2005 08:50 PM

Vientiane Cafe in Oakland for Lao?

  • m

Buried deep in an archived thread, Kim posted -

"There's a relatively unknown Lao restaurant called Vientiane Cafe in Oakland in the residential Allendale neighborhood in East oakland loacted at 38th Avenue and Allendale off the 580. It used to be the Laotian Arts and Cultural Center, but now it's a small restaurant. The menu is mainly Southeast Asian (Vietnamese, Thai) but there are definitely Lao and Cambodian dishes and you can talk to the friendly women who work there and request Laotian dishes."

Any other comments on this spot?


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  1. You know, I am not sure if it is there anymore.
    Anyone know???

    There is a Vientiane in Sebastopol -- not
    the same people -- that serves Thai/Lao
    food. There are a couple of places that
    serve Issan food in the area, like Ruen Pair
    in Albany, which may fit your bill if the
    Oakland place is closed. Also a newish
    Thai/Lao place called Lucky in Berkeley.

    2 Replies
    1. re: akitachow

      It's still there. Spelled without an 'e' on the end.

      1. re: Melanie Wong

        I live in the Laurel, and noticed this cute little hole in the wall restaurant as I drive around the neighborhood. I have tried it twice for take out, the Pad Thai is excellent; as is the green papaya salad with shrimp. The decor is homey, a little campy, and completely charming. I would love to go there for a sit down dinner. Each time I have been there I noticed the posted specials for the nite, all of which sound exotic and delicious. I will try them soon and let you know!

    2. Vientian Cafe now has a website where you can view their menu online. The menu is available at or by going directly to

      p.s. I don't know why the owner(s) decided to spell Vientian without the E (the orignal spelling is Vientiane).


      5 Replies
      1. re: LaoDiner

        Thank you!

        The nam kao is great there. What dishes do you recommend?


        1. re: Melanie Wong

          Went last Friday night around 8 (open till 9) The place was packed,one table left.

          Vegetarian Spring Rolls:Very tasty,looked a little plain.
          Papaya Salad (Lao Style) Good,but had no Papaya??
          Gang Ga Ree Yellow Curry :Good, but curry tasted a little fresh, as if it was just made from a quick curry powder
          B.B.Q. Pork Spare Ribs: Super tasty
          Lad Nah Big rice noodles with gravy and broccoli.With shrimp, crabmeat, and squid:too much calamari and not enough crab. I think I would try it with chicken next.
          Sticky Rice,very nice, comes in cool woven container.
          Coconut drinks ,Icy cold with big straws to suck up the junks of coconut inside.

          Tons of tasty food for $40,Very friendly service.Kinda like eating at someones house.

          No Beer or wine.

          Easy parking,Neighborhood is not bad,but I would go before it gets dark.

          I will be back and order the garp,That seemed to be what all the other tables had ordered.

          1. re: Mission

            there was indeed papaya in yr salad, it was just not the sweet ripe kind you may have been expecting. Papaya salads in SEAsia are made with the julienned flesh of unripe green papayas.

          2. re: Melanie Wong

            i've been there. got the angel wings and drunken noodles--the first was great, really tasty and the second not very impressive. worth a try, though--very nice people and i'd definitely go back!

          3. re: LaoDiner

            actually the "original" spelling is closer to เวียงจันทน์ , which is more properly transliterated into English as Viang Chan, Vientiane is the lazy romanized name given to the Lao capital by the French as they could not properly pronounce the "ch" in Viang Chan.

            1. re: lintygmom

              I've tried just about every Lao/Thai restaurant in East Oakland at least twice and I'd say that Vientiane is just as good if not better than Champa Gardens. Plus, it's cheaper and more consistent. Try the Nam Kao (sour sausage and crispy rice salad). My other go-to place for Lao/Thai is Chai Thai Noodle. You can't go wrong with the Chiangmai noodles.

              Champa Garden
              2102 8th Ave, Oakland, CA 94606

              Chai Thai Noodles
              545 B International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94606

              1. re: esiotrot

                Rose Garden Thai Cuisine on 23rd. St. in San Pablo is Issan/Laotian style, at least the dishes that they do best. Very very good,but perhaps uneven -- once I had the best green papaya salad ever, the next time it was just "meh." Intensely flavored dishes. They speak almost no English and communication can be difficult.

                Rose Garden Thai Restaurant
                898 Alamo Dr, Vacaville, CA 95688

                1. re: ptrichmondmike

                  They've actually updated the restaurant name to reflect their Lao offerings. There's now a new sign above the restaurant.

                  The restaurant is now called "Rose Garden Restaurant: Lao-Thai Cuisine".

            2. I've had Pla Muk Phad Ped (Calamari with Chili Sauce), Phad Ped Seafood (Seafood with Spicy Chili), Pla Ka Pow (Basa Fish Fillet with Sweet Basil), Gai Ga Pow (Sweet Basil Chicken), Sai Ooa (Baked Laotian Sausage). I would recommend all the dishes except for the sausage, which I found a bit dry. If you request spicy, they will deliver.

              1. The other day I stopped at a small Lao/Thai place in Vallejo called Ano Thai Lao. I had been a few times and wasn't too impressed. This day I ordered an appetizer of a spicy Lao sausage. Whole pork sausages blended with lemongrass, lime, a variety of peppers. Amazing and I could tell freshly made. I assumed on the premises but the owner informed me that her mother makes them by hand at her restaurant, Vientian in Oakland. I see this was discussed a few yrs ago, but still, can't wait to try it.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Dan Wodarcyk

                  The Laotian sausages at another Laotian restaurant in Oakland called Green Papaya Deli are better than the ones at Vientian Cafe, well IMHO, but the ones at Vientian Cafe are still good nonetheless.

                  Vientian Cafe
                  3801 Allendale Ave, Oakland, CA 94619

                  Green Papaya Deli
                  207 International Blvd (at 2nd ave, Oakland, CA