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east bay: union city up to emeryville?

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friends from south bay are looking to meet up with friends in oakland somewhere in-between. any suggestions for a sunday dinner spot anywhere from union city up to emeryville? entrees should be no more than $15 and we're particularly interested in ethnic or trying interesting/adventuresome restaurants in the area.

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    1. Actually the shopping center where Little Potato and Banyan Tree are located at Alvarado Niles and Decoto is a goldmine for interesting ethnic stuff. There's the Mayflower Chinese Seafood Restaurant, the hotpot restaurant, New China for tofu dishes, and probably some others I've missed.

      1. Hey, my friends and I do the same thing (esp Friday nights, when no one wants to battle traffic into SF)

        We've tried:
        Ninji Mala Hot Pot (Newark) - Szechuan-style hot pot that left us euphoric from pain.
        Little Potato (Union City) - honestly, I didn't love it - the portions are huge, and I remember thinking that its popularity had to be due more to it being incredibly inexpensive. However, I've read more recent reviews, and I haven't had all the dishes that people rave about, so it's probably worth a shot.
        Mirchi Cafe (Fremont) - Indian pizzas - fantastic crust, tomato sauce a little on the sweet side, wasn't a fan of the Indian fusion toppings (chicken tikka masala, palak paneer) - I think I'd have preferred a separate, classic pizza, and a dish of chicken tikka masala on the side. However, the crusts are good enough that I would go back to try a conventional pizza, and they had really tasty spiced lamb burgers.

        On my to try list:
        Banyan Garden (Union City)
        Dana Bazzar/Chat Patta (Fremont)
        Vung Tau (Newark)

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        Ninji Mala Hot Pot
        6066 Mowry Ave, Newark, CA 94560

        Dana Bazar
        5113 Mowry Ave, Fremont, CA 94538

        Mirchi Cafe
        40900 Fremont Blvd, Fremont, CA 94538

        Little Potato Restaurant
        1773 Decoto Rd, Union City, CA 94587

        Banyan Garden
        1771 Decoto Rd, Union City, CA 94587

        Vung Tau Restaurant
        6092 Mowry Ave, Newark, CA 94560

        1. More links:

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          New China
          1743 Decoto Rd, Union City, CA 94587

          Ninji Mala Hot Pot
          6066 Mowry Ave, Newark, CA 94560

          Dana Bazar
          5113 Mowry Ave, Fremont, CA 94538

          Mirchi Cafe
          40900 Fremont Blvd, Fremont, CA 94538

          Little Potato Restaurant
          1773 Decoto Rd, Union City, CA 94587

          Banyan Garden
          1771 Decoto Rd, Union City, CA 94587

          Vung Tau Restaurant
          6092 Mowry Ave, Newark, CA 94560

          Mayflower Seafood Restaurant
          34348 Alvarado Niles Rd, Union City, CA 94587

          1. wow, more interesting stuff than i expected. thanks for everyone's help!

            1. I'd advise against banyan garden... unless you speak chinese. The ownership has been in transition and finally switched over recently (within last 2 months) and so has the service.

              We ordered rice and didn't get any rice. but the bill came and rice was on the bill. We explained to the waiter that we didn't receive any rice, but he brought back the bill and the charge was still on there. This was the second time this happened, but the first time, they at least removed the charge.

              Try Red Chili Thai on Mission and Industrial in Hayward, although the service is a little slow.

              If you can go more south to Newark, try Red Kwali (same shopping plaza as Vung Tau) -- we ate there once about a year ago. Apparently they have mixed reviews.

              I second recommendations for Vung Tau (good value and service), Little Potato (good value, but crowded and food was ok but wasn't *that* good).

              2 Replies
              1. re: clarsen

                Oh, I was wondering about Red Kwali - the most recent review I could find was from a few years ago - do you remember if anything was especially good?

                1. re: daveena

                  There are some recent opinions (though no detailed reports) in this topic:

                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/308058

              2. Well I'd put in a plug for Champa Garden in Oakland. I'm pretty addicted to the rice ball salad and always get the Champa Garden sampler which includes the salad, lemon grass seasoned sausage and spring rolls. Also really like the fried catfish red curry.
                http://champagarden.com/