I’ve been jonesing for Vietnamese food since it came up in discussion while we were in LA, and finally tonight talked J into driving us to Le Cheval in downtown Oakland. As much as I enjoy ordering takeout from there, every time I eat there, I am reminded that the food is exponentially better in-house. The staff is also very friendly and skilled and good humored; the menu cautions that “Prices subject to change, depending on customer’s attitude.”
We started with our regulars, iced coffees, tofu spring rolls, crispy imperial rolls and chicken cabbage salad with fish sauce, all made just to our liking. Their peanut sauce is really just right; I tried not to finish it all with our appetizers, however, as I thought it might go really well with one of our main courses.
For the main course, we split three dishes J chose a spicy soft tofu with beef and mushrooms dish, that was oddly bland and disappointing- of everything we have ever had there, this might be the only dish we’d not order again. I chose something I’d never tried before- pea sprouts sautéed in garlic oil with onions, which was delicious on its own, and even better (reminiscent of Indonesian gado gado) with peanut sauce on top. We also agreed on one of our favorites, lemongrass pork kebabs, over white rice. We were quite full when we were done.