Tonight's dinner with the parents was a visit to East Ocean in Alameda. My first time, however, my sister is a veteran. I really appreciated the wider spacing of the tables and more comfortable chairs compared to busier places in SF or Oakland Chinatown.
We ordered the $78 "wo choy" set menu (English translation on the back cover of the menu) for the five of us with a couple upgrades that added $18 on top of that to the bill. We had -
Soup of the day --- tomato-based with some beef and a dash of curry
Stir-fry of shrimp and cuttlefish with vegetables (nearly all celery) --- tender cuttlefish and delicate shrimp
Chiu chow duck, half ($2 supplement to substitute for steamed yellow hair chicken, available weekends only) - somewhat chewy yet delicious, pretty well-rendered fat for this style
Dungeness crab with ginger and scallions --- a bit on the small side and harder to eat, but very sweet and succulent
Eggplant and pork clay pot --- lip-smackingly tasty and creamy-textured asian eggplants
Baby bok choy with garlic --- undercooked and too tough, not much garlic
Peking spareribs --- delicious and meaty, well-balance sweet and sour notes, good fried crust
Steamed swimming black bass with ginger and scallions ($16 supplement to upgrade from catfish) --- stellar, better than The Kitchen's version and absolutely on point in texture and seasoning
Steamed rice was $3.60 and we paid $8 corkage on the 2005 Villa Wolf Pfalz Pinot Gris I brought from home. We skipped the red bean dessert soup and stuck with the fortune cookies (very fresh!).
Service was very good and the owner stopped by our table a couple times to check on us. Alamedans are lucky to have this gem in their neighborhood.