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Willbear

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  1. The night before last I went with my parents (both retired seniors whose favorite places to eat are Chevy's and Crogan's) to Legendary Palace for dinner. First we had driven through the Webster street tube to Alameda to go to Chevy's, but found it to be mobbed with an Alameda Chamber of Commerce event. So we drove back over to Oakland and decided to try Legendary Palace for the first time. The restaurant is very attractive with such nice touches as clean tablecloths and nice looking lavendar cloth napkins. The staff all looked very orderly in their uniforms and were very professional and helpful. One very funny touch was the array of junk deposited along a countertop (bar?) including a bubbling fountain like the ones i used to see on sale in the junk/souvenir shops along Canal Street in NYC, and an older TV set with rabbit ears. I noticed that nothing was done to gussy up the appearance of the live seafood tanks in the back corner. I suppose their utilitarian appearance matches their utilitarian function. Most of my previous experience with Chinese restaurants has been in basically chinese american places like Little Shin Shin on Piedmont Ave, the Silver Dragon in chinatown, Hunan Pan in the West Village (NYC) and Joe's Shanghai in NYC's chinatown. So I had never before been in a restaurant that had tank after immaculate-looking, bubbling, tank of live sea creatures. I have deffinitely never been in a restaurant before with such an exotic menu. And neither have my parents. I'm a notoriously finicky eater. My parents' idea of exotic is the chicken salad at Le Cheval, or anything that would have not appeared in a 60's era Betty Crocker Cookbook. My dad began convulsing in nervous and somewhat hysterical giggling when he opened the menu and saw items listed with Frog and Duck Feet listed as ingredients. So we missed an opportunity to sample something entirely new and ordered the tamest items we could find on the menu. We got potstickers, chicken sesame salad, General Tso's (they spelled it differently) Chicken, and Sweet and Sour Pork (dad's favorite). All the dishes were made with great care and presented beautifully. They all tasted good, especially the chicken sesame salad and the General Tso's Chicken. The salad was very very lightly dressed in sesame oil, and was very light and pleasant tasting. The sweet and sour pork was a bit too ketchup-ey. The Silver Dragon's rendition is better. But still the freshness of the ingredients was worth noting, in every dish we had. Far more interesting than what was being served to us was what was being delivered to surrounding tables. Two tables near us were served an item that came to the table in wooden model boats. Inside on top of a green garnish of some kind of leaves (if memory serves me) were thin pieces of off-white flesh. I asked our server what they were and he brought me a menu and pointed to the Geoduck Oysters. However I couldn't see any shells in the boats. Another thing to note is that the boats were served at the end of the meals. Could the contents have been some kind of dessert? It's also worth noting that we were only one of two non-asian families eating there that night. The restaurant was full of mostly large asian families and smaller parties of older asian men and women. Oh and it was not expensive. The total bill was $36 and change.
  2. Yes I'd enjoy the next walking tour very much. I'm a very finicky eater and wish to get over that. I'm sure Chinatown would be a very valuable experience for me.
  3. Thank you both! I remember having many childhood birthdays at the Silver Dragon growing up, as well as at the now defunct, Lantern on Webster. The only food note i can think to offer is that i just had some of the best asparagus in years, found at the Trader Joes in Alameda. My food tastes and wallet are both very modest, since i am once again at 33yo a student. So hopefully I can provide some less rarified perspective here :o)
  4. There has been ample discussion on chowhound, here, and other food sites about dim sum. Does anybody have a recommendation for the best place to have a moderately priced chinese dinner in Oakland's chinatown? (Especially with one's 60 and 70-something parents along) Their favorate place seems to be Little Shin Shin on Piedmont avenue. I'd like to expand their horizons towards chinatown. Has anybody tried Legendary Palace for dinner perchance?
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