The first time that I ever went there was in 1993, and I never miss a chance to eat there whenever I am in Oakland (which fortunately is several times a year). The family who runs it is tremendously nice. Even though I live in the Philly area, whenever I walk into Phnom Penh House, I feel like I'm one of the regulars. The owners know my colleague and I so well that they even remember our favorite dishes after a few months absence. Speaking of which, the food is simply delicious. The pan-fried noodles with chili sauce (Cha Kathiw) are to die for; the eggplant stuffed with pork (Traop Ang) is a wonderful blend of sweet and savory flavors; and last but not least, the charbroiled chicken (Moarn Ang Kreun) is magnificent! My colleague always insists on getting these three dishes to share, and I never complain, although when I've gone there alone, I always try something new -- stuffed chicken wings (Slaap Moarn Borg) were excellent!
The original on 8th Street is on the edge of Chinatown in a sketchy neighborhood, but I've gone there many times for lunch and dinner and have even walked from the Convention Center at night without incident (Disclosure: I'm a 6-foot, 190 lb. man). They also have a relatively new location in Alameda that is a bit nicer in decor, but has the same menu. I can't vouch whether it is authentic, but I love this place! The prices are right, too! My three favorite dishes (mentioned above) are plenty enough to feed two adults for dinner, and all for less than $30 (not including tip, or beverages). Hands down, one of my favorite restaurants in the U.S.
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