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Ark Chinese Restaurant in Alameda

Cynsa Jun 19, 2013 04:04 AM

Sightseeing in Alameda searching for Victorian house colors... dinner at Ark Chinese Restaurant at 1405 Park Street for fresh hand-pulled noodles and Braised Egg Tofu, two favorite dishes here. The braised egg tofu is a creamy custard and unlike any tofu dish I've ever tasted.

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    Pius Avocado III RE: Cynsa Jun 19, 2013 07:24 AM

    I haven't been yet but a friend whose palate I trust says Ark is the best Chinese restaurant in Alameda.

    1. h
      hilrock RE: Cynsa Jun 19, 2013 10:00 AM

      I absolutely adore the beef noodle soup with the hand-pulled noodles. Beef-y, rich broth, very tender beef, amazing, chewy noodles and bok choy to lighten it up a bit. I should try something new but always want the soup. Perhaps next time I'll try that egg tofu...

      5 Replies
      1. re: hilrock
        Ruth Lafler RE: hilrock Jun 19, 2013 10:16 AM

        I always get that soup as well.

        The egg tofu sounds fab.

        1. re: hilrock
          vincentlo RE: hilrock Jun 28, 2013 02:31 AM

          I haven't been back to Ark lately. While their hand-pulled noodles were amazing to eat (and to watch while they make it), the beef and broth were at best mediocre compared to the other places in the South Bay (e.g., Queen's House in downtown Mountain View). I remember telling my friends disappointingly how I wish their beef and broth could measure up to their fresh noddles. By the way, I think the best Cantonese restaurant in Alameda is K.H. Perhaps East Ocean holds promise but I've only had dim sum there (many many times).

          1. re: vincentlo
            drewskiSF RE: vincentlo Jun 28, 2013 05:24 PM

            K.H. = Khanh Huong on Lincoln?

            I've just had their BBQ and Pho Ga, both of which I enjoyed.
            Khanh Huong Chinese BBQ and Pho Ga
            1707 Lincoln Ave, Alameda, CA

            1. re: drewskiSF
              vincentlo RE: drewskiSF Jun 28, 2013 07:01 PM

              Yes. They officially change their name (at least on their printed menu) because they said too many people had trouble pronouncing or remembering their English name. Also, they told me they have tanks back in the kitchen to keep live seafood, which is not printed in the menu. It's actually a great and affordable place to get live Cantonese-style crab, fish, surf clams, etc. Just ask the server.

              1. re: vincentlo
                drewskiSF RE: vincentlo Jun 28, 2013 09:36 PM

                Cool. Will need to explore more of the menu

        2. k
          Kayde RE: Cynsa Jun 19, 2013 10:51 AM

          We've had very good dinners at The Ark, and those chewy noodles are worth going a tad out of the way. Once went with a huge family group and they readily made vegetarian versions of several dishes to accommodate many of that gathering. The kids loved to watch the noodles being made, as well as the fruit carvings.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Kayde
            Cynsa RE: Kayde Jun 19, 2013 11:57 PM

            fruit carving

            1. re: Cynsa
              Kayde RE: Cynsa Jun 20, 2013 02:48 PM

              Yup, and the variation is amazing.

              1. re: Kayde
                Cynsa RE: Kayde Jun 20, 2013 05:32 PM

                This chef is an award-winning fruit carver.

          2. moto RE: Cynsa Jun 19, 2013 11:00 AM

            you'd probably enjoy the house made doufu dishes at Saigon Seafood Harbor in Richmond (half block north of the Pacific East Mall).

            1. b
              BigWoodenSpoon RE: Cynsa Jun 20, 2013 04:32 PM

              Try the Garlic Noodles and the Spicy Garlic Green Beans. For the omnivores out there, the Cumin Lamb is great and the Sweet & Sour Pork has a lot more sour than I've experienced anywhere else. I'd eat here a lot more often if I didn't seem to always come on a day when they were closed for dinner or on vacation.

              1. c
                chocolatetartguy RE: Cynsa Jun 21, 2013 01:09 PM

                Thanks for posting this. I will be in Alameda for at least the next three Saturdays and longing for someplace good to eat on Park St.

                I will so be on the Ark this Saturday for beef stew lo mein with those handpulled noodles. Maybe if I ask nice they will make me beef lo mein with gai lan.

                Last Saturday had a huge serviceable Turkey Salad sandwich at Sandwich Board and what-happened-this-used-to-be-good chicken fried steak at Ole's. It was drowned in tasteless white gravy. The best thing about the "breakfast" were the creamy grits with salty butter. The Ark sounds like it will be a lot better option!

                7 Replies
                1. re: chocolatetartguy
                  Ruth Lafler RE: chocolatetartguy Jun 21, 2013 01:34 PM

                  Note that the dishes with hand-pulled noodles are on a separate menu card -- here's a picture of it: http://www.chow.com/photos/819987 Most but not all of these dishes are on the regular menu.

                  The "bean paste pork noodles" (zha jiang mian not dandan mian) are also good

                  1. re: Ruth Lafler
                    chocolatetartguy RE: Ruth Lafler Jun 21, 2013 04:40 PM

                    Yeah, the beef stew lo mein is on the on-line menu I found. If they can make that, they could make beef lo mein if they were so inclined. Either way thrilled to find a good place to eat near Park and Santa Clara.

                    This Saturday and Sunday also the Alameda Buddhist church bazaar on Buena Vista? near Park where I hope to buy a whole homemade pie and sample tempura and chicken teriyaki before going out to dinner in Berkeley.

                    1. re: chocolatetartguy
                      Ruth Lafler RE: chocolatetartguy Jun 21, 2013 05:03 PM

                      Yes, on Buena Vista (you can enter from Pacific as well). It's across the street from my house :-). First time I ever had sushi was when my grandmother would buy what I now know were Oshinko Maki there more than 50 years ago.

                      1. re: Ruth Lafler
                        chocolatetartguy RE: Ruth Lafler Jun 28, 2013 11:48 AM

                        Thanks for the directions. It saved me a block of walking after my car had broken down on the way to Alameda earlier in the day.

                        What a charming garden! Almost like being at the Japanese Tea Gardens in GGP. I thought that Alameda Buddhist's chicken teriyaki was better than that at either Alameda Methodist or Oakland Buddhist. Also liked the Arare flavored chex mix and the homemade apple pie.

                        1. re: chocolatetartguy
                          Ruth Lafler RE: chocolatetartguy Jun 28, 2013 12:16 PM

                          Yes, the garden is a hidden gem. I walk through there sometimes on my perambulations around the neighborhood. The building is a hidden Victorian gem, too, even with the ugly additions. Just driving around Alameda you would never see it. You can smell the teriyaki all over the neighborhood, though (not as bad as when BV Methodist starts cooking teriyaki before dawn right next to my back fence, which has driven several generations of our dogs insane and thus has been dubbed "Teriyaki Torture Day").

                          Note that next month is their Obon festival, with a food bazaar at 4 p.m. on Saturday the 27th. They also usually have something at the end of summer.

                          1. re: Ruth Lafler
                            chocolatetartguy RE: Ruth Lafler Jun 28, 2013 04:38 PM

                            Yes one of the nice ladies told me about that. I hope the same baker makes pie.

                            Have you tried the chex mix? There were two, one with Spanish peanuts and one without but with pretzels. Not sure if they both had the same sweet,and salty toffee like highlights. The Arare chex mix was sweet, not savory.

                  2. re: chocolatetartguy
                    moto RE: chocolatetartguy Jun 21, 2013 01:40 PM

                    the food at Ole's comes in its old-school venue, and tries to evoke the 'good home cookin'/vintage diner' comfort classics, but their stuff tastes like most of it comes out of the sysco truck.

                  3. Robert Lauriston RE: Cynsa Jun 21, 2013 01:50 PM

                    I had a pretty good meal there last year.


                    1. raeanne RE: Cynsa Jun 28, 2013 05:06 PM

                      I really like the onion pancake and think their soup dumplings (xiao long bao) are really good for the east bay. The dumplings aren't necessarily worth the trip by themselves, but if you're already there, give 'em a try!

                      1. heidipie RE: Cynsa Oct 21, 2013 07:56 PM

                        We stumbled in there tonight and had a fine meal. The egg tofu is outstanding, the crispy shrimp with spicy garlic was greaseless and beautiful. But we were misled into thinking we could get chow mein with the hand-pulled noodles, and instead we got what seemed to be hand-cut noodles, tasty but nothing to go out of the way for.

                        1. r
                          rubadubgdub RE: Cynsa Dec 16, 2013 10:12 AM

                          A friend got a tray of their garlic noodles for our crab feed and it was tasty, perhaps not quite as garlicky as Crustacean's, but very good and not oily.

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