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Cheap Eats: Hawking Bird


Photo from Andrew C. at yelp.com

Why go? Michelin-starred chef James Syhabout shuttered the Oakland location of Hawker Fare a year ago, but khao mun gai—his specialty—lives on as the star of this new fast-casual concept.

What’s the vibe like? With limited seating and compostable dishware, Hawking Bird is great for takeout, but a large communal table and full bar invite a longer stay.

What to order? Khao mun gai (KMG), the Thai street food that’s trending stateside: juicy poached chicken atop rice cooked in chicken broth, with cucumber, cilantro, and salty fermented soybean sauce. There are only two other entrées: a gluten-free fried chicken thigh or curry-battered fried tofu (the “mocking bird”)—served in a sandwich, with rice, or atop a salad.

Added bonus: Extras and sides include tater tots, garlic noodles, pickled vegetables, and fried eggs.

How much? The KMG is $11.95 but generously portioned. For a splurge, add chicken livers for $1.50. Fried chicken and tofu options are $8.95–$11.95. 

4901 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, (510) 593-2376, hawkingbird.com. Lunch and dinner Tues.–Sun.

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