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Need a replacement for Le Cheval in Oakland

escargot3 Feb 21, 2011 09:37 AM

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. Robert Lauriston RE: escargot3 Feb 21, 2011 09:43 AM

    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
      escargot3 RE: Robert Lauriston Feb 21, 2011 10:17 AM

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

      1. re: escargot3
        Robert Lauriston RE: escargot3 Feb 21, 2011 10:34 AM

        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
          escargot3 RE: Robert Lauriston Feb 22, 2011 09:21 AM

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

          1. re: escargot3
            Robert Lauriston RE: escargot3 Feb 22, 2011 09:34 AM

            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. chefj RE: escargot3 Feb 21, 2011 12:56 PM

      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
        Robert Lauriston RE: chefj Feb 21, 2011 04:43 PM

        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
          chefj RE: Robert Lauriston Feb 22, 2011 01:59 PM

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

          1. re: chefj
            Robert Lauriston RE: chefj Feb 22, 2011 02:05 PM

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

            1. re: Robert Lauriston
              chefj RE: Robert Lauriston Feb 22, 2011 02:13 PM

              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
          bbulkow RE: chefj Feb 21, 2011 05:02 PM

          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
            Robert Lauriston RE: bbulkow Feb 21, 2011 07:11 PM

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

            1. re: bbulkow
              chefj RE: bbulkow Feb 22, 2011 02:04 PM

              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. c
            chompy RE: escargot3 Feb 21, 2011 07:44 PM

            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
              v
              vulber RE: chompy Feb 22, 2011 12:04 AM

              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
                Robert Lauriston RE: chompy Feb 22, 2011 08:06 AM

                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
                  escargot3 RE: chompy Feb 22, 2011 08:43 AM

                  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
                    Robert Lauriston RE: escargot3 Feb 22, 2011 08:58 AM

                    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
                      escargot3 RE: Robert Lauriston Feb 22, 2011 09:15 AM

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

                      1. re: escargot3
                        Robert Lauriston RE: escargot3 Feb 22, 2011 09:18 AM

                        Bocanova also has good desserts.

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                        Bocanova
                        55 Webster Street, Oakland, CA 94607

                2. m
                  ML8000 RE: escargot3 Feb 22, 2011 10:01 AM

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

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: ML8000
                    Robert Lauriston RE: ML8000 Feb 22, 2011 10:09 AM

                    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.

                    -----
                    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
                      escargot3 RE: ML8000 Feb 22, 2011 02:57 PM

                      Thanks, Robert, for being sensitive to price restrictions.

                    2. v
                      vulber RE: escargot3 Feb 22, 2011 03:31 PM

                      pho 84...

                      1. escargot3 RE: escargot3 Feb 25, 2011 08:26 AM

                        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
                          v
                          vulber RE: escargot3 Feb 25, 2011 11:35 AM

                          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

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