Vientian Cafe

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Vientian Cafe serves up Lao, Thai, and Vietnamese food, but its best known for its Lao food.  Its my absolute favorite place to eat Laotian food.  Possibly the best (and most legit) Lao food outside of a home cooked meal that you can find in the Bay Area.  Its best to come here with a larger (but not too large, like 4-6, - the restaurant is tiny), so you can order more dishes.  Also, a must eat place if you enjoy spicy. 
 They offer both Thai style and Lao style papaya salad here, but it's a Lao restaurant so I highly recommend order the Lao style salad (tum mak hoong).  Thai papaya salad is sweet, sour, spicy, and a tad bit salty, whereas the Lao papaya salad is mostly spicy and salty.  The Lao version doesn't have peanuts and has fermented fish sauce.  The spiciness level here is really spicy.   

Lao papaya salad is commonly served with lettuce and noodles to ease the spiciness.

The basket that contains the sticky rice.
Sticky rice is another popular item eaten with papaya salad and is a must order for me.
The angel wings are Vientian Cafe are lightly fried with a tangy, sweet sauce.

Kao soy (Khao soi) is made with wide rice noodles, chilis, ground pork, garlic, green onions, and fermented soy beans.  Not as spicy as it looks, but hits the spot after a late night out or on a cold day.  Some people like to add more chilis or tamarind to taste. 
Pork pad see ew is one of the handful of Thai dishes on the menu.  Its a safe option if you don't eat spicy. 

Address:                       Vientian Cafe
                                             3801 Allandale Ave.
                                             Oakland, CA

Type:                                Lao/Thai/Vietnamese

Popular chomps:   angel wings
                                              nam kao
                                              lao papaya salad with sticky rice
                                              lao sausage
                                              kao soy
                                              beef larb
                                              mok pa

Chomp worthy:       angel wings
                                              nam kao
                                              lao papaya salad with sticky rice
                                              lao sausage
                                              kao soy         

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