Dragon Rouge (new Alameda location)
Dragon Rouge opened as family-run restaurant in a small storefront in Alameda five years ago. Somehow I never made it over there -- I had gotten the impression that the food was overly Westernized.
Recently they opened up in a much larger location at the foot of the Park Street bridge -- a location that has been several restaurants over the years, most recently Aromas.
It's always been a nice space: a long room with a wall of windows over looking a large patio and the estuary. They've redecorated it in modern Asian lounge: dark wood, red shaded lamps, etc. They have a full bar and a large bar area. It's sleek and a bit more sophisticated than typical Alameda family friendly restaurants.
But what about the food? Actually, I have to admit I was wrong about thinking the food was dumbed down. It's quite good. The vegetarian friends I went with last night especially appreciated the wide array of vegetarian options (vegan options are clearly noted). I particularly liked the grilled lemongrass pork from my first visit (served with rice noodles, fresh herbs and lettuce for wrapping) and the rich, savory tofu claypot with brown rice on the second visit. I also really enjoyed my ginger basil drop.
I think it just became my go-to place for a "nice" dinner with friends in Alameda.
We went weekend before last. There were 6 of us. We heard about it on "Check Please, Bay Area" and so we made a day of it, went to the Oakland Museum and then over to Alameda. I had the ginger basil drop too. We enjoyed the sampler of rolls, good choice for a big group. Our waitress was one of the best servers I've ever had. She was very knowledgeable about the menu and very helpful and friendly. She recommended the pineapple salad, which we had with prawns. We also had a soup (I forget which one). The waitress recommended the catfish claypot, which was very good. We also had two more entrees, but I don't remember exactly what. Everything was very tastey. I didn't feel like we got a lot of food, but the bill was surprisingly low ($30 pp - everyone had at least one drink, a couple of people had two) so maybe we should just have ordered more. I have to admit I prefer the food at my local Vietnamese hole in the wall (Mai Vietnamese in Rohnert Park) but for an overall experience, I'd certainly return to Dragon Rouge if I were in the area.
They are advertising a kickoff event on the waterside patio this Saturday with drink specials and free BBQ bites by Dan, 2-6pm.
The patio pictured in the ad looks like a really nice spot. It also mentions that they were formerly at Encinal, so the move rather than 2nd location is confirmed.
re: Pius Avocado III
The first time I went we ate on the patio. It's a nice spot with some caveats: the rather industrial view (although I think the Park St. bridge is kind of cool looking), the way the wind comes straight down the estuary (which runs west to east) and the fact that as of the day we were there, they didn't have any patio heaters. The last can be (and may already have been) easily remedied. The wind could be screened. The view is the view. But there aren't that many places where you can sit out on the water in Alameda.