[Oakland/ Berkeley] Has anyone been to Funky Elephant or Bird and Buffalo?

Question, has anyone been to Funky Elephant or Bird and Buffalo? How do you like it? What’s the difference?

I’ve been to both. They’re both serving a menu with some Lao dishes, some crowd-pleasing Thai classics. The biggest difference is that there isn’t much seating at Funky Elephant–it’s a fairly small space.

I stopped by Bird & Buffalo during restaurant week when they had a special that let you try three of their dishes. The larb, grilled pork ribs, and som tum were all good. I remember particularly enjoying the larb–it’s something that’s pretty easy to make so I don’t order it often, but their balance of spicing and textures was really pleasing.

I had a bit less luck with Funky Elephant, but blamed it on my choice of dishes–I pulled late, just before closing, and very hungry and chose the party wings and nam kao tod. The nam kao tod had good flavor, but was refrigerator cold when I got home. I prefered it after warming it in my toaster oven, which brought out the flavors and re-crisped some of the rice. And I’m still looking for a nam kao tod to replace my favorite from the now closed Souk Savanh. Their’s had noticeable toasted coconut shavings that took the flavor and texture explosion over the top. The wings didn’t quite work for me, either. I like the funkiness of chili jam, and I like fried wings, but these two great tastes did not get better together. The sticky sauce made the wings difficult to eat, and soggy. My favorite part ended up being the fried basil leaf garnish. Though I didn’t love either of my dishes, I would go back and try something else–they’re flavors were bold and balanced.

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Thanks for the notes! That’s great. I think Bird and Buffalo makes for a more suitable place for us because of seating.

Oh darn. I was going to go tomorrow. But they are closed Mondays. Oh well. next time.

My favorite Lao/Thai are Chai Thai Noodle and Vientain Cafe, and Chai Thai’s more upscale/cocktail-focused spinoff The Saap Avenue (which is also closed on Mondays and priced a bit too high, unless you’re main goal is Thai spice inspired cocktails) .

and if you do go to vientiane cafe, remeber you can get their sausage and the catfish (or chicken) mousse frozen to go :slight_smile: makes for wonderful dinners (though you will need to cook the sausage, but great flavors by itself)



I had never come across the chicken prep. Same spices, different meat?

yes its amok. i forgot the name yesterday :slight_smile:

the chicken version is ok, we like the catfish version a lot more