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Nam Kao @ Castro Valley Bowl

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Last night's bowling outing with my husband's family reminded me of this old thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/397029

Castro Valley Bowl's snack bar has the usual hot dog/fries/wings menu you'd expect, but it also has nam kao, chicken and beef larb, and angel wings.

We tried a couple of dishes - a better than average pad thai, a good fried rice, angel wings were a little underseasoned to my taste but I have to admire them for even offering them.

The nam kao was quite good - the strips of pork skin with thicker and coarser than most, so the flavor and texture were a little more prominent than in more refined versions. The ratio of crispy to non- was a little low - I think they're taking fried rice and frying it in a thin layer, rather than frying balls of rice, but it tasted good. Cilantro and mint on the herb plate, romaine to wrap, which actually worked in the context of bowling - it was less messy to scoop rice into romaine than it would have been to wrap with a softer lettuce.

It's not the best in its class for nam kao, but it has to be best in its class for bowling alley food. They apparently do a good business in takeout as well.

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  1. Just when I think we've uncovered every Lao/Issan place . . .

    Here's the website for the snack bar,
    http://dcssnacksbar.wix.com/atcvbowl

    Someone has to try the Lao sausage.