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Jun 22, 2011 12:57 PM

Great ethnic food in Alameda?

Hi: Looking for a nice ethnic place to take my son to lunch in Alameda after picking him up at Oakland airport. Years ago I went to a nice, local Mexican place, famous for carne asada, but cannot recall the name or location. Quaint street. Any suggestions? We are open to anything ethnic and fun.

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  1. Burma Superstar has a branch in Alameda

    Burma Superstar
    1345 Park Street, Alameda, CA

    1 Reply
    1. re: JoyM

      I live here in Alameda for the past 13 yrs.. The truth is Ethnic is is a bit lacking here in the sense of delivering excellent quality.. e.g Flavors of India is no Vic's Chaat House of Spice Hut.. Penca Azul is awesome for their drinks food is quite another matter it is so so... I've been to all of the places mentioned some more than once or twice more than I should just to make sure that I didn't catch the chef/cook on an off day and believe when I say I can count the ones I do go back to on one hand.. Troy's, Toomie's for thai food, and the BEST place to eat here in Alameda is SCOLARI'S @ 1303 Park St ..It just doesn't get better than this...Mike takes fresh local seriously and does an awesome job with creativity.... the best part of the experience is the fact that you order and can go hang out next door at LUCKY 13 where the food will be brought over and where the best beer selection on the island is available for consumption..... On any given nights foodies, wine & beer geeks can be found picking up takeout, chowing down at the hole in wall joint or next door at Lucky 13.... I have had just about everything Scolaris can think of dishing out and have never been disappointed - from great salads, hamburgers, sandwiches,soups, stromboli, killa east coast slice pizzas etc... or their daily specials that can be found on their board (usually posted by 11:30am every morning on their facebook page "Scolari's Good Eats") hush puppies, chicken and waffles & the specialty burgers - that some have concluded is the best in the bay area!!! And to boot they are open pretty late most nights compare to most places in this town.. Try it & ENJOY!!!

      Toomie's Thai Cuisine
      1433 Park St, Alameda, CA 94501

      1303 Park St, Alameda, CA 94501

    2. Hmmm ... good ethnic, yes. Great? I don't know. There are several Mexican restaurants in Alameda, but I'm not aware that any are famous for their carne asada. Since you said "quaint street" I'm going to assume you meant Park St. rather than Webster St.; Webster is also a couple of miles farther from the airport. That said, two of the better "ethnic" options in Alameda are on Webster: Otaez for Mexican and East Ocean for dim sum at lunch.

      Back on Park St. the best Mexican is probably the La Penca Azul (formerly La Pinata #3), which may be where you ate before. The best Chinese option on Park St. is Ark, especially for their hand-pulled noodles. For Thai there's King of Thai Noodles, for Indian there's Flavors of India, for Vietnamese Pho Little Saigon or Dragon Rouge (may qualify as more "fun"). I haven't heard anything particularly good about the new Cambodian place, the Aghan kabob place didn't look prepossessing. I've heard good things about the Greek place -- Troy -- though.

      Maybe the most interesting would be the Alameda branch of Burma Super Star, which is reputed to be one of the better branches.

      I'm not sure what people consider "fun" -- for me, the most fun place for lunch on Park St. is Ole's Waffle Shop, because of its old-fashioned (genuine, not retro) diner atmosphere. Depending on how old your son is, he may enjoy a place like Quickly, with Asian snacks and drinks.

      14 Replies
      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        The site is running as slow as molasses, but let's see if I can generate some links:

        Pho Little Saigon
        1319 Park St, Alameda, CA 94501

        Ole's Waffle Shop
        1507 Park St, Alameda, CA 94501

        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          Thank you! That is very helpful. I dug back through very old emails and found it was Otaez; however, the current reviews aren't so stellar. I will check out both La Penca Azul and Burma Superstar, which sounds intriguing, and give him a choice. My son is an adult and very much enjoys local, ethnic places that are authentic. A food adventure, as it were. Thanks again.

          3872 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94601

          Burma Superstar
          4721 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA

          1 Tillman Pl, San Francisco, CA 94108

          1. re: annie44

            If Webster St. is in the mix I'd give serious consideration to East Ocean. It's solidly good dim sum in a very nice atmosphere and I always think dim sum is fun.

            If you're going to Park St. you can just park you car and walk around until you see something that strikes your fancy -- with a couple of exceptions, all the places I mentioned are within a couple of blocks of each other.

            One more suggestion: if you're foodies, you might want to check out the Alameda Marketplace (1650 Park St. at Buena Vista) -- either get some terrific pizza from the wood burning oven at East End Pizza or just browse the excellent bakery and cheese shop and have lunch across the street at King of Thai Noodle.

            2318 Central Ave, Alameda, CA

          2. re: Ruth Lafler

            Some more:

            La Pinata Restaurant III (now La Penca Azul)
            1440 Park St, Alameda, CA 94501

            East Ocean Seafood
            1713 Webster St, Alameda, CA 94501

            Ark Chinese
            1405 Park St, Alameda, CA 94501

            Dragon Rouge
            2304 Encinal Ave, Alameda, CA 94501

            King of Thai Noodle
            1635 Park St, Alameda, CA 94501

            Otaez Mexican Restaurant
            1619 Webster St, Alameda, CA 94501

            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              As an aside the drinks at Tapioca Express, near Dragon Rouge, are a lot less sweet than Quickly.

              Ramiro Brothers is not fun, but they have a good burrito and I like the carnitas and the chicharrones. The super quesidilla is also good and messy.

              Burma Super Star has very tasty different food and a nice ambiance, but it is pricey and the portions keep shrinking. But, if you do go, try the Rainbow or Tea Leaf salads.

              Angelfish Japanese has very fresh sushi. Its located on Harbor Bay Island which is close to the airport.

              The Hob Nob is not ethnic but the place and the food are both fun...truffle fries, mac n cheese, cuban sandwich, good breakfasts. This reminds me that there is also a Cuban place -- I think they changed the name to Habanas?

              Best Vietnamese is in Marina Village at Mint Leaf.

              La Penca Azul is fun, but I get full on chips and just order two street tacos every time I go.....

              Angelfish Japanese Restaurant
              883 Island Dr # C-2, Alameda, CA

              Dragon Rouge
              2304 Encinal Ave, Alameda, CA 94501

              1518 Park St, Alameda, CA 94501

              Taqueria Ramiro & Sons
              2321 Alameda Ave, Alameda, CA 94501

              1. re: myst

                Here are a few missing links

                1313 Park St, Alameda, CA 94501

                Mint Leaf Vietnamese Restaurant
                831 Marina Village Pkwy, Alameda, CA 94501

                1. re: myst

                  Good points. But you say you get full on chips like it's a bad thing! :-) (that happens to me in pretty much any Mexican restaurant with decent chips and salsa -- half the time I end up taking most of my entree home).

                  What do you recommend at Mint Leaf? I never get out that way, but maybe I should.

                  Since annie44 is talking about lunch, perhaps we should warn her that some of these places (like Ramiro) are going to be slammed during the lunch period(s) for the high school in the next block.

                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                    Good point about the high school. And I think I remembered you are not a Ramiro's fan?

                    At Mint Leaf I like the chicken curry. They also do a fried calamari and green beans. I've tried several other dishes and many were good including I think a beef cube plate, but I have not been in several months so can't recall the menu. The food is a bit fusion, but everything tastes fresh, clean, and light. My Vietnamese friends have agreed with me that most Vietnamese food in Alameda is pretty dismal....

                    Mint Leaf
                    1513 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 34957

                    1. re: myst

                      The best Vietnamese I've had in Alameda was at Khanh Huong Chinese BBQ & Pho Ga on Lincoln.

                      They only have one Viet dish, Pho Ga (available in 9 variants with different cuts of meat and/or intestines) and the rest is Chinese.

                      The Chinese BBQ items are very good as well.

                      1. re: drewskiSF

                        'pho ga' will be the soup noodles with chicken. if you order 'pho ga', that's what you'd get, not beef or beef tendon or duck. those dishes are called 'pho - x ' (x = word for other meat/poultry/offal). thanks for the info on this place.

                        1. re: moto

                          details on the Pho Ga at Khanh Huong from yelp (yes, that site that some 'chowhound' users like to scoff at) indicate that all the pho there is chicken with variations of chicken parts -- the innards are livers and gizzards. specializing in one type of pho is usually a good thing.

                          1. re: moto

                            this link's to a picture of their pho selections from that "other" site

                        2. re: drewskiSF

                          Owners of Khanh Huong are ethnic Chinese from Viet Nam. Mom likes their "home-style" Cantonese dishes; for example, roast duck wonton noodle soup,steamed salted fish/pork hash. They offer a special menu of 3 choices for about $17 (including rice if eating in).

                  2. re: Ruth Lafler

                    Troy: hummus was the best I've had in a restaurant, chunky eggplant salad (not baba ganoush) was great, falafel were first-rate, cooked to order and crunchy with a squirt of superior tzatizki. On the other hand, the dolmas, chicken schwarma, and cucumber salad (mostly tasteless tomatoes) were not very good.

                    Apparently they have a branch in the Elmwood as well. Different menus.


                  3. For me, Tommy Tucker is a great slice slice of Americana -- a genuine old-fashioned ice cream parlor in a genuine retro space. I love having a sundae for dinner. . . or just a big scoop of macapuno/

                    Tommy Tucker
                    1349 Park St., Alameda, CA

                    9 Replies
                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                        Genuine old-fashion Americana is not easy to find & could be considered a threatened (if not endangered) ethnicity with all the fusion and hyphenated offerings in Alameda. . . in the same vein as Ole's, Jim's, and the now closed Tillie's (which relatives of mine used to sojourn to from Redding).

                        1. re: Stephanie Wong

                          I'm just confused at the "Tommy Tucker" reference -- do you mean Tucker's? They used to offer a Tommy Tucker cone (do they still?).

                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                            Thanks, Stephanie. Is that at 1349 Park? It sounds like a really fun stop for dessert before the drive back to San Ramon. I'll post where we end up eating at today, my vote is East Ocean or Burma Superstar or Alameda Marketplace....so many choices. I'll let my son choose since it's his vacation. Tomorrow we are in SF, didn't realize it was Gay Pride weekend. Thinking Slanted Door for lunch or, or Swan Oyster, Nopalito, Suppenenkuche, Tony's Pizza ---Kokkari or La Mediterranae...so many options, so little time. Fun! Any suggestions for an Irish Pub near Union Square for my son?

                            Slanted Door
                            Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

                            Burma Superstar
                            1345 Park Street, Alameda, CA

                            Tony's Pizza
                            820 Willow Rd, Menlo Park, CA 94025

                            1. re: annie44

                              For Irish, I like Irish Bank.- great amiance and friendly crowd. My Irish hairdresser also likes Johny Foley's.

                              Irish Bank Bar and Restaurant
                              10 Mark Ln, San Francisco, CA 94108

                              Johnny Foley's Irish House
                              243 Ofarrell St, San Francisco, CA 94102

                              1. re: annie44

                                There was a report in another thread that Swan is closed for vacation this week -- so check if you decide to go.

                                1. re: annie44

                                  Added the link

                                  Tucker's Ice Cream
                                  1349 Park St, Alameda, CA 94501

                                2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                  Yep -- in the past 40+ years, my circle has always referred to it as Tommy Tucker's. Guess I should proofread more carefully before clicking on Post My Reply :^)

                                  Definitely still offer the Tommy Tucker -- and they seem to still be a great hit with the "wee'uns".

                                  1. re: Stephanie Wong

                                    We had a large (18) family dinner at The Ark a few months ago, loved the show of the hand-pulled noodles (tasty too) and the kids especially enjoyed the carved fruit and veg birds etc. (One little girl insisted on taking hers with her for the weekend.) And then we all walked over to Tucker's for dessert, which imop definitely counts as a rare spot. Big hit, like a memory and almost exotic. especially to people from Mall-and-Chain Land.

                          2. Homeroom Racing Cafe has a few terrific dishes - I'm not generally one to order the same thing over and over again at a restaurant, but I have their chicken with green beans and their pad kee mow almost weekly.

                            Homeroom Racing Cafe
                            1305 Park St, Alameda, CA 94501

                            1. So where did you end up?