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Oakland - Laurel District recommendations?

Rapini Jun 11, 2012 01:57 PM

I've lived in the East Bay for many years, but regrettably, know more about Rockridge, Piedmont Avenue, and Berkeley, than I do about my own backyard. I'd be interested in dining spots along the MacArthur corridor between 35th Avenue and High Street (or thereabouts).

I work at home these days, so lunch spots will be as welcome as dinner.

Any local gems to share?

  1. Stephanie Wong Jun 12, 2012 01:26 AM

    Not far below MacArthur is Vientian Cafe. Great Lao sausage & rice ball salad. Also like their red curry sauce, but the pad thai was too gooey for me .


    Vientian Cafe
    3801 Allendale Ave.
    Oakland, CA 94619

    1 Reply
    1. re: Stephanie Wong
      ...tm... Jun 13, 2012 12:29 AM

      The nam khao (rice ball salad) at Vientian Cafe is my favorite version in the Bay Area. It is definitely worth a try, and (like another favorite Lao/Thai restaurant, Champa Garden) hidden in a residential area.

    2. jillyju Jun 12, 2012 12:27 AM

      I love Full House's breakfasts, particularly their corn cakes and tasty hashes. Phnom Penh is reliable- I like their basil fried rice and a simple grilled chicken dish. You never feel rushed there. I have had Happy Garden only on a to-go basis, and everything was decent if a bit oily. And Louisiana Famous is decent fried chicken.

      1 Reply
      1. re: jillyju
        Ruth Lafler Aug 15, 2012 12:46 PM

        Was in the neighborhood and hungry, so dropped in to Phnom Penh last night. I've been to their Chinatown branch, but never this one. My favorite chicken soup (#216 on this menu) is just as tangy/lemony and herbaceous as ever, although some people might want a little more heat. We also ordered the two specials: grilled lemongrass pork ribs and eggplant with prawns and sweet basil. I thought the eggplant was good, but not particularly distinctive. The pork ribs were perfectly cooked (i.e. pulled easily off the bone but didn't fall of the bone) and had a delicious char, but were a touch dry. Still, I would order them again.

        As jillyju noted, the service was friendly and hospitable. Even though they were closing up by the time we were finished, they never rushed us, and even talked me into dessert (mango with black sticky rice). Then they ushered us out with "come back tomorrow." I'll definitely try to get back, if not today!

      2. s
        shanghaikid Jun 11, 2012 07:42 PM

        Geraldo's (3811 Macarthur) has great burritos
        happy garden (4112 Mac) has pretty good chinese food
        Louisiana famous(4006) has great chicken and good donuts
        #1 seafood & chicken (4014) has very good fish & chip
        world(3726) has good coffee.
        2nd full house for breakfast.

        1. Robert Lauriston Jun 11, 2012 03:39 PM

          There have been a few reports on Laurellinos: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/637258

          1. Ruth Lafler Jun 11, 2012 02:07 PM

            The only place I know in Laurel is the Full House Cafe. It looks like there's a branch of Phnom Penh House, which should be good. There's also a West African restaurant that looks pretty authentic.

            I think you need to be our scout for this neighborhood!


            4 Replies
            1. re: Ruth Lafler
              Rapini Jun 11, 2012 02:36 PM

              As always, I was hoping someone else would do it, and that I'd reap the benefit.

              1. re: Rapini
                Ruth Lafler Jun 11, 2012 03:02 PM

                But you get more satisfaction from doing it yourself! Not to mention props from SF chowhounds.

                1. re: Ruth Lafler
                  Rapini Jun 11, 2012 03:11 PM

                  What's the emoticon for "grumble, grumble"?

              2. re: Ruth Lafler
                moto Jun 11, 2012 10:01 PM

                Phnom Penh has pretty good food with friendly and efficient service from the family who run it. it might not please someone seeking or expecting more pungent Lao or Thai preparations.(Cambodian restaurants around here seem to generally have a fusion menu with some elements of both but the food doesn't seem to go as far with pronounced sour, bitter, sweet, or fiery flavours).

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