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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Travel Alameda (Forbidden Island) dining options
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Alameda (Forbidden Island) dining options
thejab
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Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2006-04-26 6:36 pm   Permalink

Since people from far and wide are going to be coming to Alameda to visit Forbidden Island, I thought I would give my picks for dining in Alameda. I have not tried all the restaurants on the island, so this is just based on my personal experiences. I have often been disappointed with moderately-priced restaurants in Alameda, and since there are so many great restaurants in San Francisco, I still haven't tried many in my town because I would rather spend the same money for a far better meal in the city.

That said, there are just three excellent restaurants in Alameda that I go to over and over again:

Speisekammer 2424 Lincoln Ave. (510) 522-1300
Excellent traditional and lighter German cuisine, great beer and wine selection, simple decor, good service, moderate prices.
http://www.speisekammer.com

Toomie's Thai 1433 Park Street (510) 865-8008
Great thai food, excellent service. Try the flaming beef, seafood casserole (served in a coconut shell!), curries, lemongrass barbeque chicken, etc. Mmmm.

Sushi House 2375 Shoreline Drive 510-865-0999
Big restaurant with excellent fresh sushi, large portions, not very expensive, always crowded, waterfront setting across from beach.
http://www.e-sushihouse.com/

The best of the rest:

Breakfast - I never had a great one in this town.

Albert's Cafe 1541 Webster (510) 523-4600
Small classic diner, super friendly, great Peet's coffee served, good food.

Tillie's Coffee Shop 1500 Webster St (510) 523-1737
Remodeled 1950s coffee shop with nice long counter still intact, good food and service.

Ole's Waffle Shop 1507 Park St. (510) 522-8108
Great neon signage, just OK food, atmosphere a bit too cutesy.

Hamburgers

Burger Orchard 3211 Encinal Ave (510) 769-9933
Classic 1960s burger joint, good burgers but not much else.

Steak and seafood

Pier 29 Waterfront Restaurant 300 29th Ave in Oakland (510) 261-1621
Cool 1950s nautical restaurant with views of harbor and bridge between Oakland and Alameda, cross Park Street bridge from Alameda and make first right into parking lot, food is good but not great. Early bird specials.

Mexican

Acapulco 2104 Lincoln Ave (510) 523-4935
Classic dark sit-down Mexican restaurant from the 1960s or before, food is traditional style combination plates with beans and rice, unhealthy but tasty. Mmmm, lard.

Italian

C'era Una Volta 1332 Park Street (510) 769-4828
Pretty good food, classy decor, little Italian market next door, service is hit or miss. Sunday brunch served.

Tomatina 1338 Park Street (510) 521-1000
It's a small chain, but their food is decent and inexpensive, if not as good as most of the Italian restaurants that I have been to in San Francisco.

Chinese

Never had great Chinese food here, and most of the Chinese restaurants have gut-wrenching decor, so I usually order to go.

New China Hut 642 Lincoln Ave (510) 523-6461
I find this place consistently good, and cheap. Their wor won-ton soup is the best I've ever had anywhere, with many huge won-tons, big shrimp, and chunks of smokey pork - $5.25 for a large container!

Late night

La Pinata 1440 Park Street (510) 769-9111
Open until 3AM, so-so food and service, and usually crowded.

I much more prefer the Guadalajara Restaurant 1001 Fruitvale Ave. in Oakland (510) 533-7296
Just across the Fruitvale bridge from Alameda, open until 3AM, mariachi band on Fri and Sat night.

Juanita's 1324 Park Street (510) 865-2588
Open until 3AM, but food is generally lousy. When drunk at 2AM this may not be an issue.

Nikko's 340 23rd Ave in Oakland (510) 533-1425
Just across the 23rd. Ave bridge and open 24 hours, so-so diner food, but bacon and eggs always taste good at 3 in the morning!

Those are just my personal favorites. The rest I have tried and didn't like or have not tried. Others, feel free to add to the list. But be willing to take jabs from me if I disagree.

Oh, don't forget that you can always eat fried treats at Forbidden Island.

Later I'll add some good Oakland places that are close to the island, like a restaurant with live sea chanteys perfomed every Thursday! But right now I'm off to Forbidden Island!

[ This Message was edited by: thejab 2006-04-26 18:37 ]

[ This Message was edited by: thejab 2006-04-26 18:38 ]


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Tiare
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Joined: Feb 13, 2004
Posts: 61
From: San Francisco
Posted: 2006-04-26 8:33 pm   Permalink

Thanks for the post, are there any places in walking distance of FI? What kinda of food do they have at FI?

I need to make it over to FI soon....

thanks
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thejab
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2006-04-27 11:05 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2006-04-26 20:33, Tiare wrote:
Thanks for the post, are there any places in walking distance of FI? What kinda of food do they have at FI?




FI serves about a half a dozen different deep-fried treats, such as coconut shrimp (I had some last night and they were delicious), sweet potato fries (mmm), fish and chips, etc.

On the next block of Lincoln from FI heading west (towards Webster) is

El Caballo Wraps 1108 Lincoln Ave (510) 521-6257
I just went there on Sunday for lunch. They serve Mexican food in the healthier California style (like with wheat and spinach tortillas) for those that like that kind of Mexican food. Being from San Diego I prefer border style burritos without beans and rice vs. San Francisco Mission style burritos with everything but the kitchen sink, but the food was fresh and tasty and the people there are very friendly. They even gave me a free sample of their tortilla soup. They close early though (at 6 or 7).

There is a Filipino restaurant at 1216 Licoln but I have not tried it. There's a Domino's pizza across the street from FI.

About 1/3 of a mile away at 1410 Encinal is Little Joe's Express, a Chinese restaurant that I have not tried. Webster Street is about 2/3 of a mile away and has numerous food options: several fast food chains, many Asian and Mexican restaurants, and Albert's and Tillie's that I mentioned above.


 
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RevBambooBen
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Joined: Nov 12, 2002
Posts: 7454
From: Huntikington Beach
Posted: 2006-04-28 7:03 pm   Permalink

There is a Filipino restaurant at 1216 Licoln but I have not tried it.
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Mai Tai
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Joined: Mar 21, 2004
Posts: 1436
From: Exotic Isle of Alameda
Posted: 2006-04-28 10:02 pm   Permalink

Good list, Jabbo. Here are some of my recommendations:

Jim's Coffee Shop 2333 Lincoln Ave, on the corner of Lincoln and Park (510) 523-5368.
Great breakfasts, good burgers, excellent pork chops. Probably the best diner on the island. Did I mention the pork chops? Try 'em!
http://www.jimscoffeeshop.com/

Linguini's Cafe Pasta & Vino 1506 Park St (510) 865-5101, and 1508 Park St
2 locations next to each other. One is more casual and focused towards pizza, the other is more of a traditional pasta restaurant.
http://www.linguinisrestaurant.com/

Bacci's Italian Delicatessan 1118 Lincoln Ave, two blocks from Forbidden Island (510) 748-0321
Traditional Italian deli. Warm panini sandwiches!
http://www.baccideli.com/

Kamakura 2549 Santa Clara Ave (510) 521-9121
Traditional Japanese dining. Sushi too.
http://www.kamakurarestaurant.com/

Sandwich Board 2412 Webb Ave (510) 521-3366
Try their turkey cranberry sandwich.

Nations Giant Hamburgers 1432 Webster St (510) 521-8888
Not to be confused with the 1/4 Lb Giant Burgers Chain in the East Bay, which kinda sucks. Nations makes a pretty good burger (fried though, not char-broiled), and good fries. They also serve breakfast all day and night, and have a great selection of pies (banana creme, coconut creme, fruit pies...). Open until 3am!!!
http://www.nationsrestaurants.com/

Loard's Ice Cream 2265 South Shore Mall (next door to Applebee's) (510) 521-0873
An old fashioned ice cream parlor, although this one is much smaller than other Loard's locations. They carry some great tropical ice creams and sorbets, such as mango, coconut pineapple, etc. TikiHula's favorite ice cream!!!
http://www.loards.com/

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cynfulcynner
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Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 1800
From: Ocean Beach, San Francisco
Posted: 2006-04-29 02:18 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2006-04-28 22:02, Mai Tai wrote:
Jim's Coffee Shop 2333 Lincoln Ave, on the corner of Lincoln and Park (510) 523-5368.
Great breakfasts, good burgers, excellent pork chops. Probably the best diner on the island.



I second that!


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thejab
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2006-04-29 10:34 am   Permalink

I have had nothing but bad service at Jim's Coffee Shop. It's always too crowded, and the food is overrated in my opinion.

Other then the Sandwich Board (I like) and Nation's (I don't) I have not tried Mai Tai's other suggestions.

I forgot one:

Tucker's Ice Cream 1349 Park Street 510-522-4960
The best ice cream in the Bay Area, super creamy!

[ This Message was edited by: thejab 2006-04-29 10:35 ]


 
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Molokai Mike
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Joined: Jun 26, 2003
Posts: 506
From: the birthplace of the Mai Tai
Posted: 2006-04-29 10:54 am   Permalink

I dig Jim's omelletes!! Huge and tasty. Also my breakfast venue of choice. I like the "retro-ness" of Ole's on Park St, but find their breakfasts to be the usual "Denny's" type options (and portions). I haven't tried the ones on Webster yet.
I must say, for as small as Alameda is, the sheer amount of amazing places to eat is mind-boggling.
Sushi House, Bacci, Toomies Thai, La Pinata, Oteaz, Jim's the pies at New Zealander...great stuff.
Oakland has tons of choices in each dept but they're all much of the same, None really stands up above the rest. For example, nearly every Sushi place in Oakland/ Berkeley serves the same thing - mounds of rice, with specs of fish. The Suhi rolls at Sushi House (where Park St meets the beach) are simply incredible - mounds of FRESH fish inside and on top!!
The same is true for Thai food etc...except pizza. Most that I've seen on the Island looks pretty standard fare - haven't tried them though.
Bacci Italian Deli 2 blocks from FI is also mind-boggling. A 6 month old deli that feels like it's been there for decades withthe most delicious hot panini's I've ever tasted. Take a hike A.G Ferrari!!


 
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thejab
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Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2006-04-29 11:06 am   Permalink

I agree with you Mike there are many good options in Alameda, but still no great restaurants that Oakland has like Bay Wolf, A Cote, Le Cheval, and Pizza Rustica!

 
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Molokai Mike
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Joined: Jun 26, 2003
Posts: 506
From: the birthplace of the Mai Tai
Posted: 2006-04-29 11:52 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2006-04-29 11:06, thejab wrote:
Pizza Rustica!



Thanks Jab. I too agree with you.


 
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Mai Tai
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Joined: Mar 21, 2004
Posts: 1436
From: Exotic Isle of Alameda
Posted: 2006-04-29 2:50 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2006-04-29 10:34, thejab wrote:
I have had nothing but bad service at Jim's Coffee Shop. It's always too crowded, and the food is overrated in my opinion.


I thought you had never been to Jim's before. At least that's how our last conversation about it went? And, c'mon Dean, overrated?!? What exactly did you order that was overrated? It's DINER food - no one is trying to put it on the Zagat list next to Aqua or The French Laundry or similar. Still, it's way better than Tillie's - their food basically sucks except for their breakfasts, and also better quality than Ole's, which usually takes longer to get seated because it's smaller. If you had a bad experience, I highly suggest you try it again - they do make great omelettes. I'm going there right now to have their Chile Verde omelette - mmmmm, mmmmm, good!
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thejab
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2006-04-29 3:25 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2006-04-29 14:50, Mai Tai wrote:What exactly did you order that was overrated?




I can't remember exactly, because it was several years ago, but it was breakfast. We waited about an hour, then waited almost as long to get our food, and then the food was mediocre. I just don't understand their popularity.

Today when going to pick up my car near Forbidden Island I picked up a sandwich at Bacci's Deli. It was excellent! I will go back again. I just wish they were open later so I could stop by after work (they close at 6). I still think Genova Deli in Oakland is the best, but Bacci's is good too.


 
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Mai Tai
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Joined: Mar 21, 2004
Posts: 1436
From: Exotic Isle of Alameda
Posted: 2006-04-29 4:57 pm   Permalink

Ya gotta go try the place again, Jabbo. I know that you'll like it.

Mmmmm, Genova Deli - pretty damn good. It's good to see some traditional type deli's still scattered around the East Bay. And now we can add Bacci's to the list.
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AquaZombie
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Joined: Aug 01, 2003
Posts: 461
From: Thrillville
Posted: 2006-06-12 10:53 am   Permalink

Dean pretty much has it covered but just my two cents when it comes to prioritizing: LA PINATA is my #1 favorite restaurant on "the island" (love saying that, landfill and all). Monica and I both LOVE THE FOOD (and she's actually Mexican! well, by way of Union City....), way better than Acapulco (which does have a nice homey atmosphere) and I also recommend OTAEZ, which opened recently on Lincoln and Webster (a close second to LP but no dice.) Best of all, the tequila bar at LP is OUTSTANDING. Absolutely the BEST margaritas we've EVER had! Never thad a bad meal there either, and we've been there a lot - the cool, copious shrimp cocktail, super-tasty grilled veggie burrito and the scrumptious chicken quesadillas are my favorites, while Monica swears by both the meatball and chicken soups - all portions are really generous, too). Sushi House is our other favorite restaurant (but it's everyone's), perfect location with a view of SF and they recently added live jazz too. High five to Mai Tai on Jim's though I also dig Tillie's right near us for that good old fashioned Hopperesque Americana experience. And there's that new L&L BBQ in the Marina Village where both Martin and Mike have been dining before heading to FI - they even have malasadas though they're not on par of course with Leonard's on Oahu, which is an impossible standard. Still, friendly service and authentic Hawaiian meals -with two scoops of rice and a scoop of macaroni salad on the side! - enfuse it with suitable aloha atmosphere.

For sushi I also recommend KAMAKURA on Santa Clara, good food but I really just dig the friendly vibe. TOOMIE'S is no doubt the best for Thai.

For walking distance from FI, you can't beat the Italian deli BACCHI, which is getting ready to expand from a little hole in the wall to a full fledged cafe. It's run by young guys who do it old school - terrific sandwiches and soups and a wide variety of meats etc. A little bit of Jersey in Alameda. Just down the block from FI next door to Pagano's hardware.

As for Chinese food, totally disagree with the Jab once again - THE ARK on Park (can you remember that?) is an excellent place, sort of Chinese fusion but what the hell. Plus we recently went to the new CHING HUA restaurnt in the ALAMEDA MARKETPLACE on Park - really good food, especially the dumplings, and even surprisingly strong and decent Mai Tai to wash it down. There's a little takeout hole in the wall joint right near me on Webster near Lincoln I really like too, can't recall the name though.

THE BEST PIZZA ON THE ISLAND IS NEW YORK PIZZA ON PARK ST. Absolutely hands down fuggetaboutit. Of course I was raised in Jersey so I like my slices big, juicy and THIN. The Flatbush Fold, baby. I probably eat there more than anywhere else, for a quick bite anyway. Also love the sandwiches at the this little hole in the wall burger stand right next to ALAMEDA BYCYCLE (which had a tiki logo before they renovated!)on Park, can't remember the name of it but the best turkey burgers w/fries combo I've probably ever had.

Of course, you could head straight to FI and eat the fries, wings and spring rolls for cheap...

[ This Message was edited by: AquaZombie 2006-06-12 11:05 ]

[ This Message was edited by: AquaZombie 2006-06-12 11:07 ]


 
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AquaZombie
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Joined: Aug 01, 2003
Posts: 461
From: Thrillville
Posted: 2006-06-12 11:18 am   Permalink

Oh yea, this may've been mentioned but I'm supposed to be booking movies right now and didn't notice but have to give a shout out to THE GOLD COAST GRILL on Park for that old school film noir smokey steakhouse experience (though it's actually Greek), they even have a piano player. Maybe the best martinis on the island too.

 
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