Three Great Places to Eat in Lake County: Asian

April 12, 2022

Just because Lake County’s rural doesn’t mean that we don’t have some great Asian food. In fact, people come from all over to eat at these three restaurants. After spending a day enjoying all the beauty our county has to offer, there’s nothing better than sitting down with a glass of local wine and some high-quality Asian food.

Kelseyville Riviera: Arti Café

Arti Natural Organic Indian Cafe serves amazingly high-quality Indian food. Step inside the restaurant, and it’s like stepping into a spring day. The place is tastefully decorated and accented with bright, friendly colors. And their food is spectacular; it’s a true gem sitting at the foot of Mt. Konocti. They use almost entirely organic meats and veggies sourced from local farmers’ markets to create their delicate curries, tender naan, and spicy vindaloo. And they have numerous vegetarian options, all of which are sure to satisfy. While there, be sure to enjoy their selection of Indian beers and local, organic, and biodynamic wines.

Location: 9703 Soda Bay Rd, Kelseyville, CA 95451. (707) 279-1977. Hours of Operation: Open seven days a week, 12-3 PM, 4:30-8:30 PM.

Middletown: Buddha Thai

Odds are you’ll bump into Charlie when you walk into Buddha Thai. He’s out front while his wife, Ting, prepares some of the best Thai food you’ll ever eat. Charlie’s easygoing, friendly, and always willing to chat for a minute before he brings out your fantastic dish. Start with the spring rolls; they’re the largest you’ll find anywhere. Stuffed with lettuce, carrots, cucumber, mint, basil, cilantro, avocado, tomato, and cashews, they’re the restaurants’ top-selling item and a joy to eat. Then, for a special treat, try the Pad Eggplant, a balanced stir-fry with the smooth notes of eggplant, spice of jalapeno, and the licorice-tang of fresh Thai basil. And you can’t go wrong with any of the curries; they’re all made in-house and filled with bright notes and exceptional flavor.

Location: 21037 Calistoga Rd, Middletown, CA 95461. (707) 987-8276. Hours of operation: Tuesday through Sunday, 11:30 AM to 8:30 PM. Currently Take-out only.

Clearlake Oaks: Happy Garden

If you’re looking for unpretentious, high-quality American-style Chinese food with large portions and low prices, look no further. For decades, Happy Garden has been a Lake County favorite. It’s worth the trip to the Oaks to enjoy their food. Order some hot tea, look over the massive menu, and spend some time perusing the Chinese Zodiac placemats before ordering. It’s hard to go wrong with anything you order, but here are a couple of recommendations. Look at the House Specialties section of the menu first. The most dramatic is the Sizzling Beef, a combination of beef, mushrooms, onions, snow peas, and baby corn topped with rice noodles and brought to your table on a sizzling hot platter. And they offer a selection of Chinese-style Thai food—one of the favorites is the Pad kee Maow, a stir-fry with chicken, rice noodles, fresh tomatoes, and lettuce covered in a spicy garlic basil sauce.

Location: 13440 State Hwy 20, Clearlake Oaks, CA 95423. (707) 998-0398. Hours of Operation: 11:30 AM – 9:30 PM, seven days a week.