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Need a replacement for Le Cheval in Oakland

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Every year, my friend comes to the Bay Area for a fundraising meeting (for a non-profit he works at), and stays at the marriott in downdown Oakland. We always would have dinner at his fave spot: Le Cheval.

I was wondering what might be a good replacement: not expensive, and comfortable to sit for a long pow-wow as we catch up on life.

How's the Oakland branch of Breads of India? Any other suggestions for any type of cuisine in that same price point? Thanks.

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Breads of India
948 Clay St, Oakland, CA 94607

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  1. You know Le Cheval reopened as LCX down the block?

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    LCX by Le Cheval
    1019 Clay St, Oakland, CA 94607

    4 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      My understanding is that since the new place is so much smaller, they hurry you out even more than before.

      1. re: escargot3

        Maybe Vo's. I think prices are similar. Menu's online.

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        Vo's Restaurant
        59 Grand Ave, Oakland, CA 94612

        LCX by Le Cheval
        1019 Clay St, Oakland, CA 94607

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          Have you been to Vo's recently? A few of us went about 2 years ago and it was dreadful.

          1. re: escargot3

            I'm not sure when the last time I went there was. Whenever the happy hour stopped being crazy cheap. Might have been a little over two years.

    2. Breads of India is truly awful in my opinion.
      Bình Minh Quân on 14th is good. Has most of the dishes that LCX offers. Staff can be a little put offish but if you engage them they will offer suggestions and help. Portions are a bit skimpy but still a decent value.

      7 Replies
      1. re: chefj

        Are you speaking from recent experience at Binh Minh Quan? That used to be my favorite Vietnamese place in the area, until there was a chef or ownership change and the food went downhill. But I haven't been there in several years.

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        Binh Minh Quan
        338 12th St, Oakland, CA 94607

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          Yes with in the last 4 months or so. Not stellar but good, there really are not many choices.

          1. re: chefj

            That's a major change, the menu used to have 134 items. What's good?

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              No, I meant many choices for Vietnamese restaurants.
              We liked;
              Canh chua tôm
              Gỏi Ngó Sen Tôm Thịt
              Bánh hỏi
              Chả giò
              of course with the caveats mentioned above.

        2. re: chefj

          I thought breads of india was decent when I ate there about a year and a half ago. I am no fan of the berkeley version; oakland was OK, although not special. I might have to seconds Vos.

          How big is the party? If around 8, you might consider Plum. It's completely different, but comfortable and local to the marriot. Lends itself to a certain hanging out.

          1. re: bbulkow

            Plum's a couple of notches up in price, and I find the backless benches and stools not so comfortable.

            1. re: bbulkow

              We got dragged there by a friend because it was close to the Trappist.
              The food was truly bad.
              Vindaloo, thin brown, no heat, no tart just a generic garam masala flavor.
              A south Indian Chicken again nothing of not in the spicing and hardly any coconut flavor. No mustard seed, curry leaf or discernible chili.
              There were a couple of other dishes that I can't even recall.
              When we reached our car we both agreed it was one of the worst Indian meals we have had.

          2. Battambang (Cambodian) is very close to the Marriott and I liked it a lot when I used to go there pretty often - but that was about 6 years ago. Maybe others can chime in about how it is lately?

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            Battambang
            850 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94607

            6 Replies
            1. re: chompy

              Used to go to Battambang regularly up until two years ago - phenomenal food - about on par with Angkor Borei in SF (which I also happen to love), although I give Battambang the edge for better desserts. However, the ambience/service is like your typical standard Asian restaurant, and does not have the more upscale feel that Le Cheval had that lent itself to events.

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              Battambang
              850 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94607

              Le Cheval
              2600 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA 94704

              1. re: chompy

                Battambang is good, but not a place to have a leisurely meal and hang out.

                As I read the original post, this isn't an event. escargot3's friends is in town for a meeting and afterwards the two of them are getting together to catch up.

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                Battambang
                850 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94607

                1. re: chompy

                  I was thinking about Battambang as an alternative. I haven't been there in years and was wondering how the food is now. Perhaps we'll go there and then somewhere else afterwards for a drink. Group of 4, by the way.

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                  Battambang
                  850 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94607

                  1. re: escargot3

                    The Trappist is a very cozy place to hang out if you want to drink beer. Liege is a very comfortable bar. Bocanova's a good place for drinks as well.

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                    The Trappist
                    460 8th Street, Oakland, CA

                    Bocanova
                    55 Webster Street, Oakland, CA 94607

                    Liege Spirits Lounge
                    481 9th St, Oakland, CA 94613

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      Great suggestions. I'll let the guest choose one of them.

                      1. re: escargot3

                        Bocanova also has good desserts.

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                        Bocanova
                        55 Webster Street, Oakland, CA 94607

                2. Why not check out B Restaurant, gets positive reviews and around the corner from the Trappist.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: ML8000

                    B is great and a comfortable place to hang out, but a step or two up in price from LCX or Battambang. Same goes for Bocanova.

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                    Battambang
                    850 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94607

                    Bocanova
                    55 Webster Street, Oakland, CA 94607

                    LCX by Le Cheval
                    1019 Clay St, Oakland, CA 94607

                    1. re: ML8000

                      Thanks, Robert, for being sensitive to price restrictions.

                    2. pho 84...

                      1. Dinner at Battambang was good.

                        Very nice use of spices. All very distinct, clean flavors. Perhaps not "gourmet", but good especially for the price. Definitely qualifies as a place I will go to and tiptoe down the menu.

                        Unfortunately , my friends are not adventurous eaters, so we had simpler fare:
                        - Soup: Sgor chrork: fabulous flavor of lemon grass + S.E. Asian basil in lime broth
                        - Curry: Kari Dong Kchei: totally yummy red-ish sauce with yam, young coconut meat, a couple o' string beans and chunks of chicken
                        - Banhkair Char Broeurng: prawns sauted with lottsa onion, fresh mushrooms, ground peanuts, and more of that great sweet basil + lemon grass.

                        AND they have brown rice.

                        Next,I'd like to go back and try frog legs with ginger in garlic. Also interesting: spinach noodles and seafood ... or tripe, pork or...

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                        Battambang
                        850 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94607

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: escargot3

                          the desserts there are also some of the best i've had at traditional southeast asian restaurants...they go well beyond the usual selection of fried banan or mango/sticky rice; the jackfruit pudding wrapped in banana leaf is especially good