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Restaurants & Bars 5

East Ocean, Alameda

Ruth Lafler | Oct 4, 200506:15 PM

Finding a place to eat in Alameda on a Sunday night that wouldn't upset my pregnant sister's iffy tummy was a bit of a challenge, but we finally settled on East Ocean, as good quality Cantonese food can be good without being oily or spicy.

I've been here several times for dim sum, but it's been a while since I've been here for dinner. In the interim, I've gotten a lot better at ordering in Chinese restaurants (thanks, Melanie!).

I wouldn't have posted about a simple dinner like this (we had two dishes, plus potstickers), except that both of the dishes we ordered were *really* good. A beef and turnip "stew" off the specials menu had a broth (it was more of a soup with big pieces of meat and veggies than a stew) that was amazingly beefy. In fact, I wondered if maybe it was enhanced by MSG, but if so, it was expertly done and left no aftertaste. The only reason I didn't wrestle my sister for the leftovers was that, well, she's pregnant.

And besides, that meant that I got the leftover "cubed rock cod with Chinese greens" which was almost as good. Thick slices of fish and baby bok choi cooked in what I think must have been only the moisture from the ingredients and some sliced ginger; there was just enough "sauce" to coat the fish and bok choi. Whatever it was, it was truly disappointing there wasn't enough sauce to spoon up, since it was so delicious I almost licked the plate. Even though I don't usually like reheated fish, the leftovers were yummy today at lunch.

The potstickers weren't great, though -- they were plump but not particularly juicy or flavorful. I suspect that the farther you get from "gringo" favorites, the better off you are.

East Ocean is pretty upscale -- the three dishes plus rice came to $28, so it's definitely not cheap Chinese -- but worth it. The dining room is really pretty in the evening with the hanging light fixtures on (I think they must only use the canister lights during the day).

East Ocean
1713 Webster St.

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