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Saigon Citi at Beauregard & Lincolnia Roads 11/10/06

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Got caught in a traffic jam on the way home from work and stopped in. It's been open maybe two months, located in a former Pizza Hut space, in that funky little triangular shopping strip across from the Total Wine in Landmark Plaza.

The room has 4-tops around the edges, big lazy-Susan tables in the back corners, and rows of tables pushed together through the middle. No booths, just basic black chairs and gray speckled faux granite formica tabletops, and a terra cotta tile floor. The noise level wasn't bad, but there were only a half dozen customers or so when I got there. I imagine the sound will really bounce if it gets filled up. Plates are Corelle, sodas come in cans with a glass of ice alongside.

The service for me, a women dining alone, was not very good. I saw other tables getting better. I asked for hot tea, which got on the bill but not on the table, and it was hard to catch the waiter's eye; he didn't come around once after my food was delivered. And now that I'm typing this, I realized that I didn't leave a tip at all! Oops. I didn't intend to stiff him. It's a pay-at-the-cashier place, but the check isn't brought to the table, so I didn't think to figure the tip while I was still sitting there. Damn. Now the service for single women there will probably get worse :-/

Anyway, the signs & menu really focus on the pho, but it being very warm today, I wasn't in the mood for any sort of soup, so I'll save that for another visit. I started with the spring rolls -- basic mint/lettuce/shrimp -- that were nice and fresh and the fillings crisp, but not much else going on for them. There were a variety of condiments at the table, but I ate mine plain. Maybe I should have added some sauce to them.

For the entree, I got a stir fry of shrimp, scallops & squid with vegetables and crunchy noodles (forgot to grab a menu to give the proper name for it). That was tasty, plenty of bok choy and broccoli and celery, two (but only two) very large shrimp perfectly cooked, a nice helping of squid, and far too many rather flabby roughly chopped scallops. I'm not a huge fan of scallops to start with, but these seemed a bit too fishy tasting. The noodles were perfectly fried, about the diameter of angel hair, light as a cloud, and slowly collapsing from the sauce on the stir-fry. The sauce itself was a very simple thinnish brown sauce and I thought enhanced the flavors of the noodles and vegetables.

All in all, not great, but probably worth exploring a bit more, and I'll have to try to pho. I just need to go in disguise so the waiter doesn't recognize me.

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