Saturday, January 26, 2008

little saigon

{click to enlarge}

"little saigon" used to be the name of my favorite vietnamese restaurant growing up. it was tucked away in the little shopping center where viet wah is off of 12th and jackson. now it's some other vietnamese restaurant which is more shi-shi and less mmm.

my new go-to vietnamese place is thanh vi. i used to go to the outlet in the u-district all the time between classes or for lunch during work because they have bomb soup (more than pho) and great tofu with peanut sauce for an app. now i prefer the one at 12th and jackson for its convenience factor, though their menu and service is a little different from the u-district.

chili sauce is so crucial. i'm super picky about what kind of chili asian restaurants have. i'm not a fan of the chili sauce that's chunky with green pieces of pickled something or other. that sauce is bitter and icky. my favorite is the dried chili sauce that's preserved in oil. omg. so delicious. it's a little sweet, has a great texture, and just hot enough so i can pile it on everything.

eastside started his meal off with shredded pork rolls (lettuce, carrots, pickled daikon, and rice vermicelli wrapped in a rice paper roll). looked lovely. it was also served with the requisite dipping sauce of fish sauce, mirin, and carrot shreds.

i was curious about one of the house specials: the tofu crepe. i honestly wasn't sure what would come, but i was pleasantly surprised. a crispy, yellow, gigantic crepe, dotted with tofu cubes and stuffed with onions and mung bean sprouts came to the table. it was served with fresh vegetables just like any other vietnamese order "on a tray." the accoutrement included lettuce, cilantro, thai basil, and watercress. i wrapped chunks of the crepe in lettuce and dipped it in the fish/mirin sauce. mmm. suge and eastside weren't as big of fans, but if you're curious, i would say go for it.

the eastside spread: shredded pork rolls, multitude of sauces, plate of duck meat, and duck soup. unfortunately, he said that the duck soup smelled and tasted distinctly of "sock." i trust his assessment. i've always thought duck is a risky thing to order at a vietnamese restaurant because often their preferred taste is preserved duck, which has quite a heady aroma and, let's just say, "distinct," taste.

suge went with the vietnamese version of azteca's "tres amigos." it was a vermicelli bowl full of pickled daikon, carrot, lettuce, cilantro, thai basil, a skewer of pork, beef, and chopped shrimp encasing sugar cane. looked good.

i went for the pretty basic tofu vermicelli bowl. it's the same as suge's above, but obviously with tofu instead of a meat assortment. solid, delicious, never a surprise.

i really like thanh vi, and though this was a mixed visit for each of the guests, i will always consider this a dinner option. it's fast, reliable, delicious, and close.

1046 S Jackson St, Seattle - (206) 329-0208
4226 University Way Ne, Seattle - (206) 633-7867

A Little Bit of Saigon in Seattle


White Pepper said...

this place is solid, i remember my brother took me here when we first moved to the area. the food is fresh and tasty...i might join you next time you go down there!

i heart tofu.
and HOT chili sauce

Suge White said...

it's cheap

that crepe was greasy and wack but since they fogot my food I had to eat it.

Anonymous said...

Loved the food, but not the *rat* that scampered across the dining room on my last visit. Won't be back.