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James Syhabout’s second Oakland restaurant is held to a high standard because his first, Commis, won a Michelin star. But Hawker Fare is Southeast Asian street food, and its low prices and graffiti-splashed atmosphere are more about grabbing a couple fave foods. Strangely enough, the “blistered” green beans were our fave. Even a vegetable hater would eat these like a sweet and spicy snack, and the bacon in them provokes full-on addiction. Also great were the beautifully tender mussels in a subtle coconut broth. Rice bowls star here, but the lemongrass chicken was a bit bland, the short ribs tough, and the rice clumpy. The Kung Fu Girl Riesling’s got just the slightly sweet, long-finishing flavor profile for the food. Don’t leave without trying the Straus soft-serve sundae, with salted palm sugar caramel. Lunch Mon.–Fri., dinner Tues.–Sat.
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