Located in the Clinton neighborhood of East Oakland, Bún Mam Sóc Trang has some of the tastiest Vietnamese food you'll find in the East Bay. While the exterior of the restaurant looks like a nondescript office building, the wonderful smells emanating from the kitchen will draw you in. If you arrive after 4pm, you'll have to take your food to go (like on my last visit) -- but that doesn't detract at all from its deliciousness. Their namesake fish soup, bún mam dóc trang, is one of their most popular dishes and made with fish, shrimp, steamed pork belly, roast pork and noodles. If you've never tried this soup before, the friendly proprietor recommends that you sample it for the first time in their dining room. She'll happily bring you an alternate dish if you find the pungent nature of its fermented fish paste too overwhelming. The cơm tấm, or broken rice plates, are accompanied with great sides such as egg cakes (quiche-like squares filled with translucent noodles) and fried shrimp cakes with a light, crispy crust. If you're in the mood for BBQ, try the grilled pork that's topped with scallions and crispy pork belly bits. Stir-fried lemongrass beef with mint and vermicelli is also a solid choice or the mi kho, an egg noodle dish sauteed with ground pork, shrimp, BBQ pork and fried fish cakes.
Bún Mam Sóc Trang
1326 E 18th St. [Map]
Oakland, CA 94606
Ph: (510) 534-2828
Hours: Tue-Sun 8am-6pm; From 4-6pm, Take-Out Only
Price range: $ (Entrees $10 and under)