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Le's (Pho Pasteur) non-pho recs please

Having lunch at Le's and think I may change up my routine and NOT order pho. I've been dozens of times and have only had pho. Would like to try something new and *spicy*. Thanks!

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  1. There's a soup -- I can't remember what it's called, but it's not pho. It's something like sweet and spicy soup -- it has pineapple and tomato in it and your choice of meat or fish (I like salmon) and is served with rice. I think it's under the house specials section. I love it, especially when I'm getting a cold -- all that heat, all that vitamin C...yum. I pretty much alternate between it and pho.

    1. I like the chicken salad, banh hoi (roll-your-own fresh rolls) with pork, carmelized fish (I like the catfish better than the salmon), and watercress soup. The banh xeo (crepe) is not bad.

      2 Replies
      1. re: MC Slim JB

        i was going to recommend the caramelized catfish. lemongrass chicken or tofu is pretty good. i've never really had anything bad there. even the desserts are decent. i like the spice tray on the tables too (none of the dishes are spicy, and this restaurant doesn't really make things spicy, but the sriracha can spice things up a bit).

        1. re: fenian

          Third the carmelized catfish but I don't recall it being spicy at all.

        1. I like the "bun" (vermecelli noodles with shrimp, veggies and crispy spring roll on top), and the "dried, spicey,salted squid". All very tasty.

          3 Replies
          1. re: catspercapita

            Oh, yeah, I love the bun. I got it on a whim once a couple of years back and fell in love - now it's hard to order anything else! I agree with others that the dishes I've had there aren't intrinsically spicy - you have to make use of the sriracha and other condiments provided on the table.

            1. re: Allstonian

              The vermicelli is my FAVORITE. I ALWAYS get that...I can't order anything else either.
              For an appetizer, the shrimp toast is SO good.

            2. re: catspercapita

              Bun is so wonderful! All winter: Pho with pork. All summer: Bun!

            3. I like the "thin vermicelli" -- you get some lettuce and thin rice-flour pancakes, some mint or basil, the noodles, whatever gilled meat you have ordered, a bit of sauce, some cucumber, and a bowl of hot water. Dunk the pancakes in the water to soften them and have a nice meal of Vietnamese burritos.

                1. I usually get an order of the combination fried rice (shrimp, chinese sausage, chicken and veggies) at the end of the meal to go. Honestly one of the best fried rice in town.

                  1. I second (or third!) the bun -- I get it with chicken, which they grill perfectly (and add a good kick of lemongrass). Outside of that, I adore the salted fish fried rice.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: litchick

                      I'm a big fan of the bun with either beef or pork. I honestly can't remember the last time I ordered anything else, and I still haven't gotten sick of it!

                      1. re: litchick

                        i second the salted fish fried rice

                      2. I haven't had anything spicy where the fire wasn't from the hot sauce added afterwards. There was a fish stew that had some kick, but I wouldn't really call it spicy. I always get the BANH HOI TOM NUONG, which is like make-your-own spring rolls. It's really a wonderful dish. Make sure to ask for peanut sauce, and put some of that hot sauce on it for a kick.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: NYA Joe

                          oh yeah, i've had that before. it was very good but messy so i didn't order it again. this dish is a must if you love the chewy texture of rice paper rolls. i ended up making what amounted to rice paper soft tacos. i guess i'm not dexterous enough to roll proper rolls.

                          1. re: fenian

                            I think banh hoi is like hand-rolling cigarettes (or using chopsticks): I've definitely gotten better with practice. I was in Ottawa recently and ran into something I hadn't seen before: pre-softened rice paper wrappers, served in an apparatus that separated them with what looked like snap-together plastic plates patterned after waffle fries. The first few were fine, but the last few had gotten sticky from drying, not good at all.

                        2. They have a couple of curry dishes that are somewhat spicey. But there's very little fire to be found on this menu. I should qualify this by saying I've not been since the change over to Le's. Was this just a name change or wholesale ownership?