Lemon Pepper, opened in February 2019 by Oakland-raised brothers Kevin and Linh Lam, prides itself on being a little different. The brothers are originally from Mỹ Tho, a city in the Mekong Delta region. Here, they serve specialties from their home city as well as Saigon and the rest of southern Vietnam. Yes, you can find staples like egg rolls and vermicelli bowls here. But this may be the only restaurant in Oakland serving Vietnamese goat noodle soup. It’s got a beef broth base with a hint of medicinal flavor from goji berries and Chinese herbs, plus bitter leafy greens and creamy taro. The soup comes with a fermented bean curd sauce and a garlicky, spicy sate sauce to dip the goat meat. There are also Chinese-inspired Vietnamese dishes like the hu tieu, a noodle dish with soup optionally served on the side, and bo bia, spring rolls with Chinese sausage and egg omelet.

— Katherine Hamilton


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Payment Type: Cash, All Major Credit Cards

Hours: Tue.-Sun. 9 a.m.-8 p.m.

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