FINALLY! New Eats in Alameda - Dragon Rouge
(This is a re-post since I accidentally posted it on the CALIFORNIA heading instead of this one! Oops~)
WoW! This brand new restaurant is exactly what the east bay needs. Fun creative drinks, unique and tasty food, great ambiance, and at affordable prices!
I highly recommend trying the Aloe Saketini , it's light, crisp and sweet without being syrupy... just try a little taste, it's So Goooood!
I am a carpaccio fanatic so (of course) I loved that they offer this as an one of their appetizers! Also we asked for a basic spring roll and the owner suggested that we try the Dizzy Dragon Sampler which included a roll that is native to the region that his mother was originally from called Phan Thiet...and it's named The Phantastic Roll (I thought that was so cute!) But it's a crispy roll within a soft wrap, totally different from any spring roll I've ever tried. This roll beats the hell outta Le Chevals shrimp rolls!
Being with a large party we ordered the Mekong "Nine Dragon" Delta Skewer Platter and I would recommend doing that since you will find your own favorites out of the assortment. Mine's the Chicken for sure~
I can't wait to go back and try the Clay Pot dishes and the Chicken Curry w/french bread (which seemed like a popular choice among the employees) The appetizers are around $6-$8, entrees $8-$14 and this is the DINNER MENU prices! The only thing I hope is that this place doesn't get too packed now that I'm letting the cat outta the bag!
www.DragonRougeRestaurant.com for the lunch and dinner menu
re: Ruth Lafler
I just read the old thread... where is their assesment on competitor restaurants? I couldn't find it. Anyways, I hope you guys make it there soon so I know what else to order next time I go! The staff is really friendly and I think it'd be a great introduction to vietnamese food for 'Chow-pup's', many of my friends are really intimidated by what they call the "communal chopsticks" at pho places and sticky menu's... this place is clean, modern and employs a staff that can explain in great detail the various dishes. Don't get me wrong, I love grungy hardcore, but I once brought a friend to a Pho spot in oakland, and the guy at the cash register was clipping his finger nails!! I was so embarrassed!
It looks like they updated the website after they opened and removed the link to the "investor package" -- too bad, there was some good info in there about the background of the "team." Maybe, if they're reading this, they'll put some of that info back under an "about us" link. Basically, I was amused to see them trash both the food and the atmosphere at the (now blessedly defunct) Emerald Garden. Little Saigon fared a little better.
BTW, I love their logo -- someone did a really nice job on that!
a group of my friends were able to go last week (i wasn't in town) and they had excellent opinions of the place. food was good. service was professional though they could tell a lot of the staff was new, they were still friendly. and they said the cocktail/drinks list was very inventive and good. I can't wait to try it out myself.
I hear the space isn't too big though.
On a side note, I'm sort of glad that Emerald Garden is going away, I've never been impressed with their food fare. And some of it has been plain bad the few times I've gone. Hopefully something thing more interesting will open up there. I've always thought a Vietnamese deli like Cam Huong would be nice in Alameda, though perhaps more so on the West side of Alameda.
Alameda could use a decent deli, period. A branch of Cam Huong would be great, though.
I hope something great goes into the Emerald Garden space -- I think it has huge potential: it's obviously a good spot for a restaurant (considering the longevity of Emerald Garden despite it being awful, and the success of the mediocre Linguini's).
What Alameda needs is a good "California" cafe, with an interesting breakfast menu, and salads and sandwiches, and more casual dinner fare than, for example, Pappo. Something like the old Carrara's would be perfect.
I had lunch at DR yesterday. We ordered the bun with pork and garlic noodles with chicken. Mom liked the bun, it had grilled pork, prawns and Imperial Rolls. The garlic noodles were toothsome, just mildly garlicky, and the chicken was sauteed breast meat. A safe choice. I also had the lychee iced tea. It was good, but too sweet. Had a hard time deciding among a lot of good choices, will definitely come back. The staff were nice and professional.
I had lunch there today, sadly, was not very impressed. Imperial roll app arrived after the entrees and the stated lettuce wrap was one small piece served under the roll. My rice combo plate had a large scoop of compact sticky rice, 3 overcooked prawns, a small skewer of tasty chicken and an imperial roll (no sauce). The sauce for the rice was delivered several minutes after the dish. My SO's bouncing beef (ordered after the beef stew he had ordered was not available) tasted cooked in advance, light on marinade flavor and lukewarm. 2 plates, an order of imperial rolls and a 7 Up was $30, hardly a bargain for lunch, especially if they are trying to get the students in. I'll wait some and go back, probably for dinner, perhaps they are still settling in.
Jing, Zelinda and I had lunch there yesterday. We had:
- Traditional prawn rolls
- Saigon Sweet and Sour Soup with Prawns
- Catfish Claypot
- Garlic noodles (side)
- Lychee Iced Tea
- Banana Somosas with Ice Cream
The fresh rolls were fine. They came nicely arranged on a platter with trendy curves and stuff. They were good, and the ingredients were fresh, but shame on us for ordering a dish we could have made easily at home.
The catfish claypot was intensely flavored and tasty. Jing thought it was a little too salty, but I liked it fine.
The sweet and sour soup had a nice, light broth with lots of vegetables. At first, they had forgotten to put the prawns in, and they were very apologetic when we pointed this out.
Garlic noodles were a little strange. The sauce was buttery and it was served with a small dish of grated cheese. Never had Asian noodles with cheese before!
The lychee ice tea was good for a try. Had a few pieces of canned lychee in the bottom of the class.
The bananas were tucked into time somosas, which were deep fried. Interesting idea, but I'm not sure we'd order this one again.
Service was extremely friendly and down-to-earth. II'd order the claypot and the Saigon sweet and sour soup again for sure.
I didn't notice if anyone had posted a link to the review in the East Bay Express: