Has success spoiled Quang?
I need to post about my bad experience at Quang last night. The food did not seem to have its usual freshness, and one dish was disgusting. Spring rolls were acceptable, not great, sweet potato fritters pretty much tasteless doughballs. My son's broken rice chicken dish was tasty, but my husband's shrimp version was just OK. The place was a madhouse and the service was terrible, which I guess is to be expected. But I ordered something that I just couldn't eat, which is rare for me. This dish, a beef and meatball curry, showed up at the table a good ten minutes after everyone else had been served. 1/4 inch of grease floated on the top of a tasteless bowl of bright red broth. I took one look and knew I wasn't eating it. The only flavor was star anise. I fished out some of the cartilage webbed meat (and I like sinew as much as the next guy) and tried to do my best. But I left it. We were running late by that time so I didn't complain, and the place was such a zoo that I had no idea how much more time I could waste getting my complaint heard.
Has anyone else been disappointed lately?
I'm not sure if it's success that did it (or what), but I went to Quang for the first time about six months ago, and found it to be thoroughly "just OK." I've had similar, better, equivalently priced meals at a number of similar restaurants in other cities. And the three folks I brought along with me concurred -- nothing was a disastrous, but nothing really shone, either. I dug Jasmine Deli a little bit more, and -- if memory serves, the prices were better. No atmosphere, but that's something I can roll with when I'm getting a cheap Vietnamese fix.
quang is a pho/noodle house, and frequently, at peak times, a "madhouse," so i think it's not necessarily a place a customer should go to for great service-- nevertheless we've gotten great, attentive & prompt service there for going on 10 years now. imo people go to quang for the food, not the service or the rest of experience. it sounds like dlgoldie's order was not up to par & also delayed, which has never happened to me (if quang is anything, it's wicked efficient-- i've never had to wait 10 minutes for anything at quang, let alone 10 minutes after the rest of the party was served). ime service is always prompt, nice, and otherwise quite fine (not fine dining obviously), even when the place is slammed, but i could see how dining with a large party at peak hours could lead to snafus-- same as other restaurants. it sounds like a fluke to me-- if the other experiences at quang were good, i'd give it another shot.
We ate there this past weekend and it was up to its usual quality, IMO. I've never had any of the curries. Haven't liked the fritter things since day one so never ordered them again. Both fresh and fried spring rolls are good, though the quality of the fried ones has not been up to snuff a couple times (overcooked or not enough flavor). We mostly order pho tai and either one of the rice stick salads or a rice platter dish. The sea bass soup (served only weekends and they often run out) is divine.
We go often enough the staff know us pretty well, and are friendly and attentive even when busy. Though we do try to time visits for other than peak-peak times.
Our main disappointment was when they stopped serving the Vietnamese coffee in the strainers and went to serving it pre-made and -mixed in plastic glasses.
I wish they would freeze and sell the pho broth. I haven't been able to make a good version yet...
I just got sandwiches there for lunch. They were stellar.
BUT - when telling my friends who I brought them to that I got them from Quang.. they mentioned they also ate there -last night- & had terrible service (they said there were 3 birthday parties ordering at random times and it looked pretty chaotic) and received the wrong dish. They said it tasted great, but it wasn't what they'd ordered and didn't want to wait or bother dealing w.the server. (Said they looked new & flustered by the big tables).
We can watch if it happens again, but it may be a fluke.
My family and I had dinner there last Sunday and I thought that the sea bass soup that I had was great. The plate of sides that came with it seemed a little less "full" than usual, but otherwise, it was great.
We went fairly early (around 5:30) and it was not particularly crowded. Service seemed average to me.
I did not taste any of the other dishes but my kids and wife liked what they got.