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Dallas Observer's Best Vietnamese and Thai places - ever try them?

I'm deeply suspicious of "best of" lists, and don't think much of the Observer to boot, but they say Quan Kien Giang has the best Vietnamese food and Nakhon Thai is the best Thai place. I not only haven't eaten at either, I've never even heard of either of them. Anyone have an opinion about these places?

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  1. I haven't been to Nakhon Thai. But, since it's under the same ownership as Plano's Jasmine Thai (which has been discussed elsewhere on this board), I suspect it's pretty good.


    1. Is this list online, or is it only in the actual paper?

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      1. Huh. I'm Vietnamese and grew up in Garland/Richardson, and my family never really went to Quan Kien Giang. My general rule with ethnic restaurants is to look around and see if there's anyone of that ethnicity actually eating there. If you try it, let us know how it is. I've been looking for good Vietnamese closer to downtown.

        1. I had a Vietmanese person tell me that Oishii was her favorite. To me, it was okay, but then I don't have the frame of reference that she had.


          1. I tried Quan Kien Giang for lunch today. Thumb's down. First, sign outside calls it "Seafood and Grills." Second, no ethnic Vietnamese diners in sight (not many other people, period). Third, sound system playing sappy English-language ballads ("Summer Wind"). Fourth, very limited lunch menu. Most importantly, the food was bland. Springrolls were o.k., but bun with chicken a big disappointment: despite sign, chicken was not grilled, and had never been in the same room as lemongrass. The fish sauce, as they call it, was served chilled in one of those things you pour syrup from at IHOP; also, sauce was blah - no hint of sweetness nor lime, no pepper flakes floating in it. Nada. The place is spacious, very clean, and a bit more upscale than my favorite Vietnamese places, suggesting to me that they have prospered by westernizing their food -- probably just right for Observer writers.

            1. I agree!

              I live in this area, and eat Vietnamese nearly every day. We had never heard of this place admist all of the local selections. How on EARTH the Observer chooses ANY of their asian cuisines choices is beyond me...I never agree with them and it's always 'fusion 5-star' food--not authentic. Everyone around here knows Thai Soon has some of the best, most authentic thai food around, and for Vietnamese, we like Bistro B, Pho Ca Dao, and Saigon Kitchen the most. The only asian food they have even remotely rated fairly was 'India Palace'. Anyone who eats asian often knows you NEVER have to pay over $20 for an amazing meal :P.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Fjorgyn

                I agree!!

                I have been to Bistro B, The Food is Very good, and CHEAP! The atmosphere is so relaxing, and well done, The menus are beautiful, even the bathroom are clean and neat, unlike most asian restaurants in Dallas. The only bad thing is the service. They are SO Busy, But its worth the wait. I was told the owner designed and set up the restauran himself. Hats off to him. Even the togo menus are cute! I Love his restaurant!. Pho Ca Dao. to me is So-So Saigon Kitchen.. I can live without. I don;t like Thai food..
                Happy eating
                Tina Tam

              2. Nakhon is REALLY good- it's definitely my favorite place - it looks really dirty on the outside, but inside, it's actually quite cute

                1. It's been a while but when I first moved down to Dallas from NYC I was faced with a serious dearth of good vietnamese (may favorite food by far and easily found in the city) and after repeated (and failed) attempts at finding something authentic, I finally found a place called Mai's. It's in a pretty crappy part of town, near Baylor, (4812 Bryan St.) but it was just what the Dr. ordered. I think I ate there at least once a week and true to form the place was full of vietnamese people. I'm back in NYC now, and though we have some great vietnamese places around here, I still crave Mai's lemongrass chicken, served with noodles and meant to be eaten in lettuce wraps WAY before it was popular to do so, and their clay pots. Highly recommended. Who would have thought?

                  1. I used to eat at kien giang very often when it was located on Walnut. They have moved to Skillman andthe food is still delicious. Very seldom do you see anyone but Vietnamese in the restaurant, and I have been there with Vietnamese friends on several occasions, and the food is quite authentic--not westernized. In fact the food tastes quite a bit like the dishes my friend's mother prepares at home and she has only been here in the States for about 8 years (still speaks no English). It is possible that those of you who think the food is westernized are in fact not accustomed to real Vietnamese food. The nuoc mam may be in syrup bottles, but that doesn't alter its taste. The goi chay (a vegetarian salad) is splendid, and ask for the peanut sauce with your spring rolls (goi cuon) and you will enjoy them more than with the soy sauce they usually come with.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: chuckov

                      Okay, I enjoy Vietnamese food as much as the next person but I'm always baffled as to what to order beyond the mainstream dishes. What are some of your favorite dishes to order?

                    2. I actually think that Zoom Thai at Frankford and the Tollway offers pretty good Thai fare for all Thai interested parties. If you want "American" thai, like easy pad thai and beef options, they have it, but they also have some fantastic authentic options. Oh, and the staff is my favorite restaurant staff in town. They are so nice and genuinely fun.

                      Try anything with the crisy duck, and if you're lucky enough to go on a night when they're making it, you have to get the sweet sticky rice packed in sugared bamboo. Amazing.