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Will's Authentic Vietnamese- don't waste your money

m
mchan02 Sep 26, 2007 11:04 PM

I had a hankering for some Vietnamese food tonight, and, feeling lazy, I didn't want to make the short trip to Little Saigon. I went down the street to Will's Authentic Vietnamese on 14th and Church. I should've sucked it up and headed to Larkin Street.

A friend and I split the fresh spring rolls (#13) and a cabbage salad topped with chicken (don't remember the exact name, but it was #22 on the menu.

Spring rolls were very mediocre and bland. The peanut sauce was pretty gross- it tasted a bit fermented, and not in a good way.

The entree was shredded cabbage and carrots with mint, with both white and dark meat chicken and nuoc cham. Luckily, nuoc cham makes pretty much anything taste good, so the salad part was edible (I was very hungry, so it managed to fill me up, but that's besides the point).

The chicken was tough and overcooked. How hard is it to cook chicken??? really!! Both white and dark meat pieces were flavorless and chewy. The salad came with what looked to me some kind of multigrain flatbread topped with dried melted cheese. I smelled it, and it smelled like...nothing. Literally. I was weirded out by it and didn't taste it.

Moral of the story: If you live anywhere close to Will's Authentic Vietnamese and are lured by its proximity, DON'T DO IT.

Perhaps I just ordered the wrong dishes? Has anyone had a good experience here?

  1. b
    bigwheel042 Sep 26, 2007 11:39 PM

    I rather enjoyed the bowl of cold bun I had here around February. I think it was topped with pork but don't really remember much other than that it tasted good and was well presented.

    The experience was unfortunately dampened by the fact that they basically shooed me out of the restaurant at least 20 minutes before the restaurant's posted closing time. I was dining solo in an empty restaurant...I think they closed around 9 and I rolled in maybe at 8 or 8:15. By around 8:30 I was maybe 3/4 done with the bowl, every customer who had been eating when I walked in was gone, and I was eating while quietly reading when the waiter approached me with the odd question "would you like to pay with cash or credit card?" I didn't get the hint and was finishing the bowl when the guy running the front of the house basically comes over and tells me in no uncertain terms that the staff wants to go home to their families. With that I paid promptly and awkwardly left.

    In fairness, this was an exceptional night - I found out the next day while eating lunch at Lotus Garden that it had been the night before Tet, and I'm sure everyone had been itching to get out of there when I walked in. I still have kind of a bad taste in my mouth about it, though, and haven't been back since. Would it have really been so hard to just tell me when I walked in that they were planning on closing early?

    1 Reply
    1. re: bigwheel042
      m
      mchan02 Sep 27, 2007 08:13 AM

      I had the same experience! We were looking at the menu in the window around 8, and the waiter came out and urgently ushered us inside. He said something about closing, although he said it very quietly, and seemed concerned until we told him we'd be taking it to go. Very strange, indeed.

    2. a
      artemis Sep 27, 2007 11:52 AM

      i also had a disappointing experience there a couple months ago. we got the seafood on a sizzling iron platter (i forget the name of the dish) and the seafood was really undercooked (as in squishy). i'm a big sushi fan, but the quality wasn't nearly high enough for that to be ok. the waiter asked how everything was, i told him politely that the seafood dish was so undercooked as to be inedible and he sorta shrugged, making absolutley no offer to rectify the situation. we left most of the $12 dish on the table. the bun cha was watery and had clumpy noodles, too. we were also quoted first $15 for corkage, then $12, then $10.

      i wouldn't go back.

      1. mariacarmen Sep 27, 2007 04:05 PM

        i am a huge Will's fan. i absolutely ADORE their Bo Loc Lac (shaken beef) - feel it's the best version of this dish i've ever had. it's served here over buttery garlic noodles - wonderful. BF usually orders the vermicelli w/grilled pork and imperial rolls, and he finds their grilled pork one of the best he's ever had. their fried/roasted calamari with dried red hot peppers and green onions, served with the lemon/pepper sauce, is absolutely the best calamari i've ever had. alll these superlatives, i know . . . i love Will's, i love the personal attention when i go there, i'm always saddened there aren't more people eating there. and i think sometimes the waiters they have don't speak a lot of English, so maybe they just didn't understand some of the people posting here - i've never had anyone be rude. Will himself usually comes to the table to see if we loved our food, always makes recommendations on the specials (which i have to admit i rarely try because i'm so stuck on the shaken beef.)

        2 Replies
        1. re: mariacarmen
          m
          mchan02 Sep 27, 2007 07:14 PM

          good to know that there are some good dished. Maybe I'll give those a try sometime. Thanks for the report, mariacarmen.

          1. re: mchan02
            mariacarmen Sep 28, 2007 10:00 AM

            welcome!

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