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Dragon Rouge: Reviews

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Dragon Rouge Restaurant: Reviews | restaurant info + video | full episode video |

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Jacob Battersby
Occupation: Artist & Independent Music Producer
Location: Oakland
Favorite Restaurant: Dragon Rouge Restaurant
Reviewed Dragon Rouge Restaurant: Sunday, May 15, 2011

We had a lovely dinner at Dragon Rouge on a lazy Sunday. As always, the food, service, and atmosphere were great. We started off with a delightfully-thirst-quenching Aloe Saketini and then dove right in with the Phantastic Rolls, which is a traditional spring roll (filled with mint, hard-boiled egg, and lettuce) that is wrapped around a fried pork imperial roll, all served with a Sriracha peanut sauce. The soft and crunchy textures blended perfectly, as did the sweet and spicy of the dipping sauce.

We chose the mango salad with grilled chicken as a second course, and it was wonderful. We loved the fried shallots, thin mango slices, mint, cabbage, and the light chili dressing it came with. The hot grilled chicken and crispy shrimp crackers on the side were a perfect accent. Such fun flavors and beautifully presented!


For our main dishes, we chose the catfish claypot and the Bouncing Beef. The catfish came to us bubbling and gorgeously designed with big tender chunks of fish along with broccoli, red and green peppers, garlic, zucchini, and onion in a tasty nuoc mam sauce. This was my favorite dish of the night as it was cold outside and the claypot was very hot and nourishing. Along with the claypot, we had a bowl of coconut rice, which complemented the slight spice of the catfish and vegetables with its soft sweetness. In addition to the fish, we had the always delicious Bouncing Beef, which consists of wok-fired filet mignon cubes lain over a bed of greens and served with a lime-pepper dipping sauce. The meat is so tender and juicy it makes my mouth water thinking of it right now!

For dessert we enjoyed fried banana samosas, served with a scoop of French vanilla ice cream and a sprig of fresh mint. It was the perfect amount and just sweet enough. Again, a nice blend of the hot samosas and the cool ice cream. They seem to have the balance game down proper. Very good!

One of the things I like about Dragon Rouge is the great music that plays softly, and all of the local art that is displayed on the walls, which I have noticed changes quite frequently. It feels comfortable and friendly, kind of like the town of Alameda that the restaurant is nestled in.

After dinner we took a nice walk to the Alameda beach and watched the sun set over San Francisco.
It was a lovely evening.

Bob Bjorkquist
Name: Bob
Occupation: Retired CEO
Location: San Francisco
Favorite Restaurant: Nettie's Crab Shack
Reviewed Dragon Rouge Restaurant: Wednesday, June 1, 2011

We arrived a little before 6:00 and we were advised that happy hour extended to 6:00 (two-for-one drinks), so we ordered cocktails. We surveyed the extensive menu and decided that since we were unfamiliar with Vietnamese cuisine, we should try a variety of options. Our waitress, Vera, agreed with us. She had been with the restaurant since it opened in 2006, and you could tell that she enjoyed her work.

We started with the Dizzy Dragon Sampler of four rolls, two of which were wrapped and two deep fried. Each was unique and quite good. The timing was perfect to have the second cocktail.

The main course was the Dragon Mekong BBQ Meat Platter, which consisted of chicken, pork, shrimp, and mango steak accompanied with noodles. Since my wife prefers veggies, we ordered sides of sautéed vegetables and garlic broccoli. There was enough food to feed four adults.

Unfortunately, we were so full that we passed on dessert. But, the table next to us had the Banana Somosas with ice cream and that looked delicious. One of their entrees was the Sizzling Sea Bass, which looked and smelled equally good.

The restaurant was very lively and several of the tables included parent(s) with small children. Because of the large and diverse menu, everyone seemed to be enjoying their selections.

The service was excellent and this was a very good introduction to Vietnamese food. It was an amazing value for the quality and quantity.

Lori Herbert
Name: Lori
Occupation: Education Technology Innovator
Location: San Francisco
Favorite Restaurant: Walzwerk
Reviewed Dragon Rouge Restaurant: Wednesday, June 1, 2011

My husband and I met up with two friends who live in Alameda to check out Dragon Rouge. None of us had heard of this Vietnamese bistro, but we were all enthusiastic to give it a try. It was a Wednesday night, and the restaurant was very relaxed and welcoming when we walked in. There was a sign saying to seat yourself, but one of the servers suggested a table in the front window and quickly prepared it for us. The décor and overall ambiance of the place was warm, clean and contemporary. Our server was very friendly and made many helpful recommendations. We enjoyed exploring the menu and appreciated that Dragon Rouge’s most popular dishes were indicated in bold.

We decided to start with some fried calamari and the Dizzy Dragon sampler, which were both quite tasty and served with multiple dipping sauces. The sampler included both fresh and crispy rolls that each offered unique combinations of flavorful ingredients. Our favorites were the traditional prawn fresh roll with a peanut sauce, and the Dragon Rouge curried potato crispy roll with a sweet and sour sauce. We also ordered some Vietnamese and Thai lagers from their impressive list of local and imported beers. We noticed that their drink menu also included a variety of wines as well as some tempting cocktails, such as the Ginger Basil Drop, that we would definitely sample on a second visit.

For the main course, we chose top-rated items, such as the Dragon Fire Garlic Noodles with jumbo prawns, the chicken curry with coconut rice, and the lemongrass curry stir-fry with mangoes and steak. My noodles with prawns were remarkably well seasoned with just the right amount of fire (I asked for a 3 on a hotness scale of 1-5). Meanwhile, my friend’s chicken curry was fine, but we certainly did not feel it deserved to be in bold on Dragon Rouge menu. She ended up being more enamored with my dish while I envied the guys’ their choice of the curried steak stir-fry. I almost never eat steak, but just one perfect forkful of the steak with bell pepper, mango, and coconut rice proved to be downright delicious. We all agreed that this dish was the best of the bunch and would highly recommend it to others.

We then settled on two desserts to wrap up our meal. The sweet, crispiness of the banana somosas paired very well with vanilla ice cream, and the brownie sundae was fresh out-of-the-oven and topped with coffee ice cream. They were each very satisfying on their own, but we would recommend enjoying these two desserts together.


In the end, we left the restaurant happy, and our friends, who live nearby, were already talking about returning sometime soon. Though my husband and I enjoyed this meal, we agreed that we would return if we happened to be in the area, but we wouldn’t make the trek from San Francisco simply to dine at Dragon Rouge.

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