Ao Sen - Albany

Sign with opening on October 20-something (23rd?) The old Sizzler spot. Hours not yet posted, but I’d expect them to be a bit later than the Oakland location (both open and close). Looks to be a welcome addition to the area.

It does look good.

In other Vietnamese developments, the place up in El Cerrito on the same block as the theater is under new management. I haven’t been there yet.

I went to the prior incarnation of that place once. You can “take one for the team” and report on the new management food!

No better than the old management’s food, I’m sorry to report. I can’t wait for Ao Sen to open!

Per their website
We are open from 9am - 10pm
Closed Tuesdays

Web site says they opened Friday, and are open 9am-10pm (!!!) Wed.-Mon.

Parking lot was packed a short while ago. I will probably try it on a more calm weekday lunch for starters

I got an email report from a friend that they’ve been slammed since they opened, still busy at 8:30 Sunday night and had to close at 7 on Saturday because they ran out of food.

I stopped by for lunch today.
(1) Sign on door - closed Wednesdays. Open at 11am, not 9.
(2) Decent lunch crowd noon-ish.
(3) It was the best food I’ve ever consumed in this building. (I have probably been in that building no more than 3 times previously).
(4) I ordered a bowl of Bun Bo Hue. Food arrived quickly. Good heat in the broth, enough that I didn’t add anything additional. Appropriate amount of fat remaining in the broth. I didn’t love the bun but it was ok enough. The meat was fine. I’d order it again.
(5) Service was quick, then disappeared. Additional water I asked for never came. Then (and they don’t tell you this) you pay at the register, and you don’t see your check until you get to the register. This provides for disorganization, because the cashier is looking through 20-some checks for what you say you ordered. Tax was included in the menu price.
(6) I will return.

Stopped in for lunch last week. My standard, bo kho, was just as on 12th street, as was their great satay sauce. The bill was brought to me but the person sitting next to me had to wait a long time and just wandered off. I wonder if they switched to pay at counter because they couldn’t manage proper coverage. Works at the other place. Anyway, happy to have it there.

Moving from International to 12th street has worked out really great for them. Revenue must be many times higher and Albany looks to continue the trend.

They now have a fresh noodle (I assume made in house) option for the pho for an extra $1. I didn’t try it because I had bun bo hue, but I will next time.

Grand Opening October 2015 sign still on the building!