Restaurants & Bars

The Alameda Ethnic Roundup: please help

Hollow Leg | May 16, 200605:14 PM     8

Theory: review the ethnic restaurants in Alameda. It's not that big, so this shouldn't be an insurmountable task. Here are the places I feel comfortable reviewing:

For Thai, Toomie's. Lunch menu is very good and reasonably priced...the pad khee mao is a favorite. Spicy but still savory, and the vegetables are never crunchy or soggy. The khing sod is tasty too: frankly, I've never had a bad lunch. Never tried the duck or the dinner menu.

Amarin Thai (by the post office) is meh...nothing special. Since Toomie's opened I haven't been back.

Angelfish is the best sushi, no question. If you order a lot of food, the chef will sometimes bring you some special reserve sake, and it will be very, very good. Pay attention to the specials board: I had astoundingly tasty oysters there once.

Sushi House is mediocre, but somehow it's always packed anyway. Avoid. A friend also de-recommended Katsu on Webster, but I have no personal experience. If I want something cheaper than Angelfish, I'll just duck through the tube and do all you can eat at Sui Sui K in Oakland.

Most of the Chinese is, as has been said, comfort food. You can still get chop suey at Fortune Cookie on Webster (!!!), and Gim's is the other good bet for classic American Chinese. Chin's Garden used to have amazing mango chicken, but they've changed management and it's not the same anymore. At least you can still get decent pork buns there. I hear China House used to be a lot better...it's not bad, just nothing special.

Ole's has truly wonderful waffles, light, airy, and crunchy -- and the pancakes are also excellent. The burgers are the good solid greasy fried old-school kind. As you'd imagine, Sunday brunch is a madhouse. "But it's not ethnic!" you say. A diner this traditional, to me, counts as ethnic American.

Domenico's, by the post office on Webster, serves the best deli sandwiches on the island -- and the occasional ravioli and pasta specials are pretty good too. Yes, they have a meat slicer, and specialty sodas. Ignore Dmitra's sign down the street: their sandwiches are nothing special.

Hinn Tha, the Burmese joint on Park is interesting, but that stuff just tastes like bland Thai to me. This might be personal preference, so I can't give it a bad review.

Genghis Khan, or whatever the Mongolian BBQ place on Park is called: meh. Nothing special, never went back.

La Pinata's chicken in tequila cream sauce is frighteningly tasty, though a bit expensive ($12-13). The rest of the menu is solid, though not exceptional. Basically this place is what El Torito wishes it were.

There are several respectable taquerias, but none of them is exceptional enough for me to review them separately and say "go to that one". No taco trucks, sadly: you'll have to go over the bridge towards Fruitvale Ave. for that.

I haven't found any Indian food.

Got arguments? Reviews of other places, like Ark, The Tran's, New Zealander? Let's hear them.


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