Champa Garden- Lao Cuisine in Oakland
Have been meaning to check out the Laotian place on Allendale and 35th (Vientanane Cafe, I think) since reading about it here but still haven't made it. Friends in the hood live near this place which opened a few months ago and have been raving. We all went tonight and were extremely happy. They were all out of the to-go menus so I cannot tell you exactly what we ate but will try:
The appetizer was #3 on the menu, a mixture of pork, toasted rice and lemon, wrapped in lettuce and herbs. Very yummy and apparently very classic Laotioan.
A whole fish with a tomato and basil sauce- super fresh and crunchy, sauce was thick and didn't soggify the fried fish.
A thai noodle dish, a wonderful green curry, a seafood dish and for the little ones, noodle soup with a fragrant chicken broth that the adults kept stealing sips off of. Plus sticky rice which is possibly my fave comfort food of all times. Everything was very flavorful with Thai-like flavors but more subtle and less sweet.
The staff were really warm and lovely and very relaxed despite the shenanigans of the toddlers. I love this place already and urge anyone in the area to check it out as it deserves to have a good long life, despite its out of way the location.
2102 8th Ave (21st St)
Oakland, CA 94606