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Jun 14, 2013 05:31 PM

How to get through to Champa Garden? [Oakland]

From time to time (and frustratingly, right now when I'm craving the rice ball salad) I cannot get through to anyone at Champa Garden during hours when I know that they are open. I dial 510-238-8819 and a recorded message asks me to enter my "remote access code." Anyone know how to get through to make a reservation? My party of 7 and I thank you.

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  1. You could try going to Chai Thai instead. They have a great rice ball salad.

    1 Reply
    1. re: chompy

      Oops, forgot to include this one in my nam khao based recs, but I second this. The menu appeals to me a bit more than Champa Garden.

      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        Vientian Cafe and Champa Gardens rice ball salad are virtually identical.

        However Vientian Cafe's prices keep going up.
        and they serve no alcohol.

        six dollar lunch plates are now ten.

        Vientian Cafe's chicken green curry with eggplant is fantastic.

      2. You might email and tell them you can't get through on the phone.

        1. I need to do this again, now that I live a few blocks away from Champa Garden, but a while ago I tried to sample the rice ball salads from several of the Lao/Thai places in Oakland in close enough succession to remember enough about each to actually compare. To my memory, Champa and Souk Savanh both use grated coconut in their nam khao and Vientiene, Green Papaya Deli (which I recently discovered is kaput), and Sticky Rice Cafe do not. So if Champa-like nam khao is what you're after (I know I am, I haven't had anything else from the menu that has wowed me since the Panang catfish on my first visit 5 years ago), Souk Savanh would be your next best bet. I was surprised to see it on Check Please Bay Area--though I've had great meals every time I've gone it has never been remotely busy (likely due to its location, though the interior, chef, and servers are great).

          Also, based on my (dinnertime) observations of the lines outside and my recent walk in, they are answering the front phone and taking a lot of to go orders, but they are very busy--maybe that strange message is the default when lines are full.