OAKLAND’s BEST ●Restaurants
Golden Lotus 1301 Franklin St./13th St., downtown. This simple spot features an extensive all-vegan menu of Chinese and Vietnamese cuisines and is worth a visit if you find yourself in this sketchy area between BART and the Oakland Museum. Dishes are made without eggs or MSG and use fresh ingredients, mock meats, and tasty sauces. Lunch features a bargain steam table (three items/$6). Specialties include spicy lemongrass “chicken” (fried tofu), a rice claypot, and sautéed garlic beef.
More items worth consideration include fried imperial rolls, pot stickers, caramelized “chicken,” sautéed whole mushrooms with basil, “chicken” drumsticks with sesame sauce, yellow “chicken”-potato curry, and green beans with spicy peanut sauce. Non-alcoholic beer is among the drinks, and mocha-chocolate cake, caramel flan, and carrot cupcakes provide a sweet ending. Some booths are available, and service is fast but does lack finesse.