Steam-table food gets a bad rap, which is understandable: With the Bay Area's foodie fixation on freshness and from-scratch cooking, food that's been sitting in a warming tray for a couple of hours doesn't normally hold much appeal. "Normally," however, doesn't apply when you're talking about the daily-rotating selection of lovingly slow-cooked stews and other homestyle dishes at this family-run Filipino spot in East Oakland. We can't think of many takeout meals better than a plate of Lucky Three Seven's torta (savory ground-meat stir-fry), chicken adobo, or kare-kare (an unctuous peanut-sauce-based oxtail stew). Everything goes down great with white rice, and regular customers know to supplement their meal with a few of Lucky Three Seven's enormous, piping hot lumpias (egg rolls), which are, of course, fried to order. It helps that the place is fun and unpretentious, with the owners blasting old-school hip-hop from the speakers and handing out samples like it's nobody's business.
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