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Nov 28, 2007 06:39 PM

Vietnamese else where in NW Austin? SeaDragon II Closed

We (my co-workers) tried to go to Sea Dragon II this afternoon for Vietnamese and it's closed. What other spots are there in NW? I know there is Kim Phung nearby, but we think that place isn't that great.

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  1. I noticed just last night that Sea Dragon was closed, too.

    What do you not like about Kim Phung? I've eaten there twice recently and thought it was fantastic. The pho is delicious with really nice cuts of meat. The bun and stir-frys are delicious and fresh-tasting. I love the people who run the place, too. They're a hoot. The place has modern decor and is right next to a brand-new Michaels and a Super Target, so it doesn't have that dive-y aspect that some chowhounders prefer in their ethnic restaurants, but I don't really pay attention to that.

    There is the Tea House at 183 and Anderson Mill... down on the other end of the strip mall from Reale's. I ate there once and was not impressed. My pho was average and my g/f got a vermicelli bowl which was sadly just vermicelli noodles with that standard "Chinese" food glop (you know the stuff... mystery meat, baby corns, broccoli, brown sauce.... it's on every crappy chinese buffet) scooped right on top.

    Best of luck, and let us know if you find anything else.

    1. Sagiang is pretty good for grilled dishes. Decent lemongrass/chili pepper dishes, as well. Their special evening/weekend menu addition has some good grilled fish. They're near BB Rovers.

      I've heard there's one in Lakeline Mall across from the theater (Dragonfly?). I've not tried it, so I can't say how good it is.

      Otherwise, I suggest driving south a few miles to Peyton Gin and giving Tan My (Tan Tan) a try. Really good pho, including the hard to find Hue style.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Nakhash

        Dragonfly is indeed across from the theater in Lakeline mall. It serves both Chinese and Vietnamese because that is the heritage of the owners. I've gotten Bun both times I was there and would say it's definitely worth checking out.

        1. re: Grumpicus

          What do they have in addition to pho and bun?

      2. hmmm... which dishes exactly do you like at Sea Dragon? although i am somewhat partial to their Lemongrass Tofu dish, most of their dishes are americanized. that's okay if that's your thing though.

        kim phung falls under the ranks of americanized vietnamese food as well. since you didn't like that place, i figured you'd wanna go for more authentic dishes?... if you're willing to drive to kim phung into North Austin territory, try the following...

        Sunflower - at 183 and Peyton Gin in the Hong Kong market section next to Target. some customers tend to complain about the service, but the food is the most authentic. Try the Shaken Beef (aka Bo Luc Lac) or the Five Spice Chicken, most people tend to like those dishes. Vegetarians, like myself, can go for the Shaken Tofu or Spicy Green Beans. their spring rolls and egg rolls also happen to be the best in town, hands down. not the place for pho, if that's what you're looking for.

        Le Soleil - on Lamar near Rutland. they're actually related to Sunflower, but i won't go into the history. pretty much has similar menu to Sunflower, so just as authentic. service is better to most people.

        Tan My (formerly Tan Tan) - on Peyton Gin near 183. good for the pho. vegetarians can opt for the bun (vermicelli noodle salad with lemongrass veggie and tofu option).

        Tam's Deli - on Lamar and other side of 183 from Kim Phung. food is okay, but i like the mom and pop feel of the place. go for the banh cuon (small steamed rice wraps filled with your choice of meat), banh mi (vietnamese sandwiches), or bo bia (jicama filled spring rolls). i usually go for the banh cuon here since you can't really find it at most other vietnamese restaurants in town. oh and you MUST try their cream puffs for dessert...

        i can go on and on about other Vietnamese restaurants since it happens to be my favorite cuisine. but i think i'll stop for now...

        2 Replies
        1. re: abidonfood

          sorry to disagree, but Sea Dragon, the original, has some really good Viet food. yeah, they've become known for that crappy buffet, but dig into the menu and you just might be delighted: the abbreviated version of 7-way beef, the amazing crabs, the shrimp with pepper/lemon sauce (can't remember what they call it), a similar dish made with chicken, and so on. can't understand why true hounds can't find the good stuff at this, now about the longest-lived Viet place in town. as long as you avoid the obvious junk, you can eat really well here, and they have things other places don't have. Sunflower is great, Tam is wonderful, but Sea Dragon ranks up there as well.

          1. re: abidonfood

            Certainly agree with you on Tan My (formerly Tan Tan). Been going there for 11 years now, and haven't found any other Vietnamese place in Austin that I like nearly as much.

          2. Hey there,
            Kim Son, a very popular restaurant from Houston, is opening in the Chinatown Center in NW Austin. I'm originally from Houston and I can honestly say it is a lot better (and nicer) than the places here in Austin...even my parents, who are first generation Vietnamese, like it!! I went by there a few days ago and they said it will be open by the end of the year.

            3 Replies
            1. re: schwollo

              Kim Son is now open. We just had dim sum there which i thought was pretty delicious.

              1. re: schwollo

                Has anyone been to Kim Son Austin and sampled their dinner menu? I've been to the Houston location and liked it fine, but I'll be in Austin this weekend and am considering giving it a try.

                Why couldn't there have been a chinatown in Austin when I actually lived there?

                1. re: vktp

                  We went there about three weeks ago and were not impressed. First, the menu is much smaller than the Houston locations. Secondly, they were out of the first two items I tried to order (crab legs and a soup dish). Third, the server didn't know the contents of a simple dish like fried rice. Fourth, the hot and sour soup tasted as if it had been reheated several times. The main courses we ordered, shrimp fried rice and a mongolian beef, were good, but nothing special. In short, I'll stick with other restaurants in this area.

              2. Haven't tried it yet, but noticed yesterday there is a new Vietnamese place called Lemongrass Cafe at Mopac & Parmer. It's in the shopping center right next door to Oduku Sushi.

                1 Reply
                1. re: amykragan

                  My g/f and I tried it a few weeks ago. I had the pho with rare steak, brisket and flank. Most of the pieces of flank were so tough that it was physically impossible to chew through them and I had to spit them out.

                  The g/f had pho ga (chicken broth-based, with pieces of chicken), which was decent.

                  Spring rolls were average, served with the over-sweetened peanut sauce.

                  With so many other Viet options all over N. Austin, I probably won't be back to this place.