My son is moving to Alameda in a couple of weeks. He asked me if I knew of any good places to eat there. I do not. Any suggestions? He likes Mexican and Chinese food but is open to anything flavorful.
That is very sad on many levels, and not just the food. That guy was a pillar of the community.
I live closer to the Alameda branch so I go there. That branch was never as good as the original but since the owner was murdered it has stayed on par. Also I always order the non-gringo specials, pozole, etc., and it's usually pretty good.
I had dinner again at Otaez last night. The specials are indeed the way to go (my dining companion ordered one of the combos and it didn't look that good, although the bite I had of his enchilada was pretty tasty).
I had the Tuesday special albondigas soup. This is surely one of the best food bargains around. I got the small, which was a huge bowl (it must have been a quart, because the leftovers more than half-filled a quart container). It includes a plate with a small heap of rice, two taquitos and some shredded cabbage (presumably the rice and the cabbage can be added to the soup; I have no idea what the taquitos are about, but it does seem to be traditional to serve them with soupy dishes (I've also been served them with pozole), at least in the local Mexican community). Plus all the chips and salsa you can eat. The price: $5.95. The soup (like all the food there) can be inconsistent, but this was a good version, with big chunks of carrots and zucchini and lots of stewed sliced tomato. Perfect for my post-dentist meal.
Including a beer and an agua fresca, we spent less than $30 ($36 with tax and tip) and both had leftovers.
re: Ruth Lafler
Wow, that is a deal. I'll have to remember that. Last special I got were the ribs. It didn't look like much but the price was reasonable and very tasty. I think it was like $7 or something. I'd order it again for sure.
BTW, some of the standard gringo combos are good but like any mom and pop place, you have to sort through them. I like the flauntas, really hard to mess up.
p.s. having their own parking lot isn't a deal maker or breaker but it sure is handy, especially with seniors.
I'll go back to:
East End Pizza
The Ark (Chinese)
Forbiddden Island for tiki drinks (not food)
I've had some good dishes at Penco Azul (former La Piñata) but the menu's really long and a lot of the stuff's not great.
East Ocean Seafood Restaurant for Dim Sum
As mentioned already Spieisekammer, Food and Beer
Sampaguita Fil-Am Cuisine (not stellar but good)
Yume Sushi ,with a caveat to read about the service and customs first.
Luck 13 for Beer
If he's 21, he should know that the Hangar One distillery is in Alameda. Tours and tastings of delicious, delicious libations!
Here are a couple more discussions:
The only Mexican I'll eat in Alameda is La Penca Azul (Park St.) or Otaez (Webster St.). The rest of it is mediocre at best.
One place that doesn't get mentioned much is Hong Kong City, which has a pretty good 3-for-$18 menu with some more interesting (i.e. not standard Chinese-American food) options. It also often has good deals on crab in season.
I liked my recent dinner at Pho Sinh (Park St.). Mint Leaf (Vietnamese) has some good deals for happy hour (Marina Village).
East End pizza should be opening its expanded restaurant any week now.
Actually was there Monday. The signature sauce is not as sweet as the one at Rockin' Crawfish. It has a lot more minced garlic, but the "mild" is also more mild than at Rockin. The people there are very nice. The crawfish otherwise wasn't bad, although still had a number of mushy ones. Two of us ordered 6lbs of crawfish, a small side of garlic noodles, a side of steamed broccoli and one piece of corn. Total come out to something over $90.
I tried it about 3 weeks ago, for lunch. Had an order of the shrimp in a medium spicy lemon/garlic (? not 100% sure of that). I thought the shrimp was on par with Rockin' Crawfish in East Oakland, in terms of freshness and proper degree of doneness. I think I might like the sauces I've tried at Rockin' a bit better, but given the high convenience level of Hang Ten for me, it's probably where I'll go from now on. I thought it was a good value, from very friendly people.
hang ten boiler
east end pizza
soleil's african cuisine
Q's Halal chicken
-otaez, taco grill, santo coyote, el huarache azteca
cocktails: Z's cocktail lounge
spisisekammer, beer only, skip desserts, they're outsourced.
I learned this morning that McGee's Bar and Grill -- which has always had terrible food -- has brought in a real chef (business is getting competitive on Park St.!). Supposedly the food is much improved and worth checking out. It's a great spot for a beer and a ball game, so decent food would be a welcome addition.
re: Ruth Lafler
McGee's has always had good fries and a decent burger (but that's all I would ever order there). A new chef will definitely get a trip out of me!
Spieisekammer not to be missed--best German food I have had outside of Germany and I love the atmosphere. Sit in the front bar area; it's lots more fun.
The Burma Superstar here is just as good as the Richmond flagship.
Lots of good drinking--all the best have been mentioned. Lucky13 has an excellent beer list, Forbidden Island makes mean rum drinks, I also like Lost Weekend as the go-to dive option.
Yeah, Alameda has a lot of good bars, and now that I think about it, a really wide assortment of restaurants. Not all of these places are good, but there sure is variety! Just in the Park St. area there's:
Southern-influenced new American
Vietnamese (both northern and southern)
Chinese, Hong Kong
Pizza (several different styles)
Mexican (both restaurants and taquerias)
Japanese (both sushi and non-sushi)
Classic coffee shops
An assortment of coffee, bubble tea, fro-yo, ice cream, etc. places
a really good bakery
a really good cheese shop
two produce markets
two wine shops
two bagel shops
I'm sure I'm forgetting something. Looking at this list, what's missing is a good deli -- it would be nice to have Italian or Eastern European (or both!). There's a Korean market, but I don't think there's a Korean restaurant.
On Saturdays from 11-3 there is an OTG truck gathering at the foot of Park St., near the beach, in the shopping mall parking lot. The participating trucks vary from week-to-week, but there is always something interesting and good. My favorites there include Streetery, Chairman and, new to the group, WhipOut.
- Speisekammer pronounced Spuhtz-kahmmer)
2424 Lincoln Ave., Alameda
Speisekammer makes the best potato pancakes with housemade applesauce, very tart. Ask for some sour cream and they're sublime. Far, far, far better than Saul's, whose latkes I hated.
If you like the taste of bananas, the wheat beer Spaten Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse makes a virtue out of a vice. It's crisp, dry, and quite delightful.
- Zen Asian fusion tapas
2315 Santa Clara Ave. @Park St., Alameda, CA
Terrific food, in fact it's the first restaurant where my Hong-Kong born DH has said he actually approves of the Asian fusion menu. The servings are small but quality is very high.
The kimchi rice was terrific - low on the sugar content so correspondingly more flavorful and spicy. Skip the pastas, just not great with the other foods.
Enoki beef and Tiger Eye (sushi grade squid wrapped around salmon salad with tobiko) were wonderful. Pork Belly Sushi was tasty but messy: it's a two-bite sushi that doesn't quite hold together firmly enough. But that pork belly is yummy!
Skip desserts, very weak - too sweet and poorly conceived. Decent coffee.
Not a four star place, but a very solid three star. Good friendly service (family owned and operated) and excellent value for the money.
re: Robert Lauriston
They're opening right and left! Since that was formerly a market, I wonder if it's going to be a deli (maybe just wishful thinking, since we don't have a good Eastern European deli in Alameda, or really in the East Bay).
BTW, I spoke with Paul at East End Pizza yesterday and he's now projecting an opening of the new restaurant around the third week of May.
Yume Sushi is spectacular for a splurge and very underneath the radar. As chefj says, do some reading and familiarize yourself with the rules, but it's worth it.