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“An Out of the Way Gem”
Review of Champa Garden

Champa Garden
Ranked #57 of 1,281 Restaurants in Oakland
Cuisines: Asian, Thai, Vietnamese
Restaurant details
Oakland, California
Level 6 Contributor
193 reviews
112 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
“An Out of the Way Gem”
Reviewed February 2, 2012

If you like Asian food go directly to this out of the way little restaurant at 8th ave. and E. 21st St. in Oakland. Sample the Nam Kaow, which is rice ball with pork ,lime, etc. When it comes out, it basically looks like a plate full of broken rice with bits of preserved veggies and pork and scallions. It comes with a huge plate of lettuce leaves, and cilantro and mint leaves. Take a lettuce leaf and scoop up some of the Nam Kaow and throw some herbs on top. It is really, really good. Lao noodle soup with viscous broth and thick chewy noodles is also very good. The menue is loaded with exotic dishes that are easy on the wallet. This Laotian/Thai restaurant is an example of what makes Oakland Oakland.

Helpful?
Thank RingoGilkey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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57 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    31
    20
    5
    1
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Detroit, Michigan
Level 5 Contributor
76 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Yummy food for an affordable price!”
Reviewed January 5, 2012

Husband and I came here with his brother, cousin, and our 2 friends. Since we were the only ones that never been here, I was excited to try some of their eats. Based on our company's comments, we came here at 12pm on a Friday. I was worried that because this place is so popular that it would be busy by then, but to my surprise, it wasn't crowded......YET. :)

We sat down in long table in the middle of the restaurant, and discussed what we'd order. Here's the rundown:

- 2 orders of the Sampler
- Pad See Ew
- 3 orders of Pad Thai
- Basil Fried Rice
- Chicken He Fen (wide rice noodle) soup

I ordered the the Chicken Rice Noodle Soup, and I really liked it. Even though there was a tad bit too much cornstarch in the broth (I was expecting a more brothy soup, kind of like Chao Zhou style), the flavors were really nice. With the extra squeeze lime in the already aromatic broth, both Husband and I enjoyed it. Husband even said that he liked the soup better than his Pad Thai! I had a small sampling of it, and thought it was a tad on the sweeter side. I tend to like my Pad Thai to have more of a tangy flavor to it. However, it was really well done. The proportion of noodles to meat and vegetables were nicely balanced. Too often, I've eaten Pad Thai that was just swimming in vegetables. Sometimes you can't even find the noodles!

The sampler was really nice. I haven't had something like that in a very long time. The egg rolls were fried well, and nothing was over seasoned and oily.

The rest of the group thoroughly enjoyed their entrees, as they said that they have always consistently had a great meal here. Great quality for the price.

Just a word of caution, the place is not very big, so queue up as early as possible. By the time we left (~1:30pm), there were A LOT of people waiting inside and outside the restaurant.

  • Visited December 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank tycl516
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arlington, Virginia
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“A local neighborhood gem”
Reviewed November 9, 2011

I went there on the review from tripadvisor and wasn't disappointed. The prices are very reasonable and the quality of the food is high. They seem to do a lot of local carryout business - the two servers were hopping.

  • Visited November 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Fred D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Leandro, California
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Wonderrful Homecooked Thai and South east Asian food”
Reviewed October 11, 2011

The restaurant is in an Oakland neighborhood. The clientele is from the neighborhood. The food is great and the service is good. The food is tasty and it tastes like it is home cooked. The favorite is the sampler. the beer is Lao and is only $2.50.t

  • Visited October 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank LorettaGF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orinda, California
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“early dinner”
Reviewed July 28, 2011

So surprised the restaurant was almost completely full at 4pm. While service is a little slow, the quality of the food makes the wait worthwhile.

  • Visited July 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank txleong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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