Current favorites at Nha Toi and Vung Tau?
I'm in San Jose for a business trip for a few days, staying downtown at the Fairmont San Jose.
Searching the board and talking to friends, I determined that I'd like to spend my dining per diem ($35) on Vietnamese, probably at Vung Tau and Nha Toi, which seem like a reasonable distance from where I'm staying.
I eat a lot of Vietnamese in San Francisco (both northern and southern) and I'm headed to Vietnam in about a month. I'd like to try out some specialty dishes or particularly good renditions I can't find in San Francisco.
Also of note is that I'm eating alone, so some of the recommendations I've read (like for a whole crab) wouldn't be a good idea.
What would you recommend?
I ate at Vung Tau for the first time a couple weeks ago and was disappointed. Too much sugar. I don't like it when my dinner tastes like dessert, but that's me. Never been to Nha Toi, but I intend to do something about that. Too bad that Saigon 75, which was closer to your hotel than Vung Tau, had to close. They had better food.
Try the soups at Vung Tau (it's not a pho cafe so that isn't an option) like Bun Rieu and others. The main dishes are excellent as well. Forget the concerns about sugar, just don't order those traditional dishes that have a lot of sugar (i.e. anything that calls for a carmalized sauce.)
Nha Toi Restaurant
460 E William St, San Jose, CA 95112
Vung Tau Restaurant
535 E Santa Clara St, San Jose, CA 95112
I've only been to the Newark location, not Vung Tau in San Jose. But, one of the dishes that I liked was the beef onion rolls.
A few years ago I was camped out at the Fairmont for a conference. My most memorable meal within walking distance was at Original Joe's. Since the one in San Francisco is closed indefinitely, you might want to pop in there for lunch. I believe it's recently remodeled. Those who've had the burger at both say that San Jose's is better.
At Vung Tau in San Jose i would definitely recommend the bun khot for appetizer. It is cooked to perfection there. Have had it in many other places but no one does it as well. Everything else there is pretty standard and yes on the sweet side. They use to do a pretty good tamarine crab but now its a bit too sweet for me. Have fun and good eating!