I love the over-the-top luxuriousness of a fancy, hours-long, upscale tasting menu as much as the next person.
But truth be told, it’s not really the food I crave on a regular basis.
While there’s a place and time for such sumptuousness, what I truly adore is food that’s punchy, distinctive, and suffused with down-home heart and soul.
No tweezers required.
That’s what Tay Ho Oakland is all about.
I was fortunate enough to come across this family-owned Vietnamese restaurant while writing my cookbook, “East Bay Cooks: Signature Recipes from the Best Restaurants, Bars, and Bakeries” (Figure 1). Indeed, it was the last restaurant to be included in the book, the 41st one to be spotlighted with stories and recipes. And I couldn’t be more thrilled that it was.
If you already have a copy of my cookbook, you know what Owner Denise Huynh poured her life savings into what was then a struggling restaurant nine years ago that she took over from her aunt. For the first few years, sheer will-power propelled her onward, as she worked to attract diners to what was then a still very gritty, crime-laden part of the city.
Now the neighborhood, with gleaming new condos and apartments going up, has grown with her. And Tay Ho Oakland has become known for its authentic cuisine served in a relaxed, inviting and cheerful spot.Read more