xanh in mountain view?
I've eaten at Xanh quite a few times. Everything I've had has been good, though I do think some of their prices are a bit on the high side for the area. As you've probably read, the papaya salad is very good. The last time I was there I had the shaking beef and it was decent...though not as good as at the Slanted Door. I also had their ahi tuna roll, which was large and tasty. The place sometimes can get crowded if you go during the peak dining times and it can be quite noisy. The service has sometimes been not quite up to par considering the prices, though the waiters wear these really cool belt buckles with the word XANH on them.
We just ate there tonight. The crispy shrimp clouds are marvelous! Delicious flavors, and the crispy 'clouds' with the soft, creamy centers are just wonderful. The papaya salad, which others have praised, seemed kind of tired and pedestrian to us, nothing outstanding. The catfish in clay pot with a sweet & spicy sauce was delicious. Someone ordered the tamarind shrimp, which were dramatically balanced on cucumber slices in a pool of thin tamarind sauce, but tasted like, well, shrimp. Nice enough, but not special.
We were a group of 8 and our dinner was served very oddly. The first items to come out were the clay pots, which luckily could stay warm, since it took multiple requests to get the simple bowls of rice that we ordered to go with them. Then a couple of salads came out, then some rolls, and so forth. The last person's entree was served when the rest of us were mostly done eating.
It was way too noisy for a group of 8. Even a group of 4 could have a hard time hearing. And most of the group didn't want to share food, so that's why I have so little to report, even with 8 people, but that wasn't Xanh's fault.
Bottom line: I'd go back for the crispy shrimp clouds and the catfish. I'd like to try the Xanh salad (beef salad). I'm dubious about many other items. One person had their deconstructed bun salad, but other than how it was served, it didn't seem that special.
I just went with a coworker couple of days ago for lunch - while it does get really noisy, we both found the food really good - they offer a 'Powerlunch' with includes an appetizer and entree for $15.
I had the traditional roll, and my coworker had the Kobe beef roll. The presentation is beautiful, and they include a soup that is spicy, sweet, but balanced; not too sweet (they had pineapple and tomatoes, but it was a clear broth)
I ordered the Catfish claypot, and my coworker ordered the curry chicken. Again, the catfish came in a sauce that was sweet, but not cloying sweet that sometimes can happen. I happily spooned the sauce over the rice. The curry chicken came with big chunks of potato, red pepper, asparagus and had the kind of spicy that isn't spicy at first, but will build up and get spicy as you go along.
We both agreed that the 1)decor was beautiful, 2) presentation was very well done, very modern, and 3) food was delicious - albeit was expensive lunch, but the next time a vendor or customer wants to go to lunch, we wouldn't hesitate to recommend this place.