Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

ISO Vietnamese – upscale or mom and pop


Krys Stanley
 Share

Recommended Posts

This post on inexpensive Vietnamese food is great. I hope to see more posts there on mom and pop places.

How about the upscale places? Just tried Ana Mandera for DAT. While I will try it again, I suspect it’s not going replace Slanted Door for me. SD has just gone so far downhill since its move to the Ferry Building.

So what about it? Le Colonial in SF? I’ve read Crustasean is mediocre. Tao Café, Thanh Long, Le Soleil?

In Oakland, Le Cheval? Anywhere else in the East Bay?

What about San Jose? Is that just the land of outstanding cheap Vietnamese eats?

Or has Slanted Door finally got its act together in the new locations. Here’s my thoughts on my last visit in August

If I never ate at Slanted Door before, today's lunch would have not made me want to return.

The decor is way to austere for me ... all blacks and greys. It's all very modern and sleek and, to me, very cold looking. Sure there is the view.

It seems to offer more choices on the menu.

I started with my old favorite, the grapefruit and jimica salad with the candied pecans. I've raved about this in the past. It was overdressed and soggy. Again, if I never had it before, I would have been unimpressed.

They still have their loose leaf teas. I had the competition grade Tieguanyn. The last time I ordered one of their competition grade teas, it was one of the most wonderful teas I've ever had. This was unexceptional and the water temperature was way too hot.

I ordered the five spice chicken because I thought that Slanted Door would have a good version. It was ugly. While it WAS cooked, it tasted uncooked. It had this flabby texture. Even the rice accompanying it was dry. The tamarand dipping sauce was delicious though.

It seems that the place has growing pains. All the dishes seemed to be put together carelessly. I sat at the end of the bar that had a view of the kitchen and it looked like a frenzy in there.

The $7.50 Bahn Mi is back on the menu, but they've stopped calling it a Vietnamese sandwich. The Vietnamese crepe seems new also ($9.50)

Still a nice selection of wines and beers.

Hope things improve in the future. However, based on my meal today, I won't be recommending Slanted Door.

Edited by Krys Stanley (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Le Cheval is up-ish scale, which unfortunately in my mind just translates to food I get cheaper elsewhere.

Another on the "up-ish" scale, which I'm hoping to try soon, is Saigon City in Berkeley.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?...5.DTL&type=food

Oh yeah, and Huynh around Oakland Chinatown is also nicer than the usual mom and pop place.

As for mom and pop places in the East Bay, Cam Huong in Oakland Chinatown for banh mi, and there are a number of pho-type places in the area and along "New Chinatown" down Int'l Avenue. I can't remember their names, though; I just stop when I see them.

Edited by Hest88 (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Le Cheval is up-ish scale, which unfortunately in my mind just translates to food I get cheaper elsewhere.

Another on the "up-ish" scale, which I'm hoping to try soon, is Saigon City in Berkeley.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?...5.DTL&type=food

Oh yeah, and Huynh around Oakland Chinatown is also nicer than the usual mom and pop place.

As for mom and pop places in the East Bay, Cam Huong in Oakland Chinatown for banh mi, and there are a number of pho-type places in the area and along "New Chinatown" down Int'l Avenue. I can't remember their names, though; I just stop when I see them.

OMG, Patrick Bui was cooking in the kitchen at Silks just about the time when I was eating there frequently at lunch (they have a good prix fix lunch deal). The chef who was running the kitchen at the time has since left and I am no longer working in the area, so I can't comment on what Silks is like these days. However, I was certainly in love with the food at Silks at that time.

Anyway, Saigon City sounds good. The even have banana flowers, so I may not have to get to Ana Mandara in the city to try that. I don't know why these seem exotic to me. Please post and let us know how it is if you get there.

Great to have all these ideas. I'm more of a person who drops into a place if I'm in the area, rather than planning ahead. Nice to know what to look for.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have two Vietnamese restaurants in San Leandro (OK, 3, but 1 is a pho place). Vo's is the more upscalish with dishes bet. $9-15. Le Solei is a bit cheaper with dishes averaging $8. They are both very good, specially their grilled meats, though their menus are limited and don't offer many of the more traditional Vietnamese dishes. Vo's menu changes frequently. Both are new and stylish.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In Oakland, Huynh is very good (as mentioned above). I love their house special chicken dish, which unfortunately goes by the fairly non-descriptive name "Ga Saigon". It has what I'm guessing is a caramel-based sauce, and is served on top of fresh spinach (which wilts from the heat) with a small dish of thin sauce that seems to be lemon juice, black pepper, and sugar. Plus a generous serving of steamed rice. So, so good. I'd love to go there with someone who really knows Vietnamese food so they could try it and tell me what to look for in a recipe if I want to try to recreate it.

And since mom&pop is one of the categories, I also want to recommend Anh Dao on East 18th between Lake Merritt and Park Blvd. (roughly opposite the Merritt Bakery and the under-construction Albertson's store). The pho is excellent, in my opinion - good depth of flavor and not too greasy, unlike some other local pho restaurants. Anh Dao also has better hours than most of the other pho joints in the area. Many of them seem to close at 6:00 PM, which makes dinner impossible. Anh Dao is open until 9 or 10, I think.

I don't recommend adding meatballs to the pho, as I dislike their texture -- it makes me think of a slightly crunchy superball. :raz: My husband would disagree, though, so mileage varies.

"The dinner table is the center for the teaching and practicing not just of table manners but of conversation, consideration, tolerance, family feeling, and just about all the other accomplishments of polite society except the minuet." - Judith Martin (Miss Manners)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd agree wholeheartedly with marie-louise - Pho 84 rocks.  I eat there every time I'm in the area.

You are back Melkor. We meet at last (so to speak)

What dishes do you like in particular at these restaurants.

Back indeed, at Pho 84 I'm in a rut - I either order pho or the spicy beef and eggplant dish. Both are great comfort food, an iced coffee is also a required part of my lunch there.

It's good to have you contributing to the forum, I'd welcome you but it's clearly a bit late for that :laugh:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...