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Great bánh xèo?

Robert Lauriston Aug 19, 2008 10:09 AM

The best bánh xèo (aka Vietnamese crepes) I've had were at Binh Minh Quan, but they seem to have gone downhill. Had one recently at Vo's in Oakland, probably won't order again. Bodega Bistro's are good.

Any recommendations on where to get great ones these days? I prefer the style with coconut milk in the batter.

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  1. pane RE: Robert Lauriston Aug 19, 2008 12:04 PM

    I like them at both Yummy Yummy in the Sunset and Lotus Garden in deep Mission.

    Lotus Garden
    3216 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

    Yummy Yummy
    1015 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122

    1. farmersdaughter RE: Robert Lauriston Aug 19, 2008 12:52 PM

      Lotus Garden's banh xeo is fantastic - I always get one. But I can't say for sure if there is coconut milk in the batter.

      2 Replies
      1. re: farmersdaughter
        Windy RE: farmersdaughter Aug 19, 2008 11:14 PM

        Lotus Garden has always been my favorite too. I did notice they weren't as good at lunch once (maybe a different chef).

        Angkor Borei makes a decent Cambodian version.

        And Golden Era's vegan version is notable for how good it is, for a vegan entree.

        1. re: Windy
          susancinsf RE: Windy Aug 20, 2008 06:10 AM

          I guess I am the fourth or fifth vote for Lotus Garden: I have a bit of an addiction to it actually: must go at least once a month; must order the crepe. My second choice would be Yummy Yummy, but of course that is across town for me, so being as provincial as I am, would never allow myself to become addicted to it.

          I agree that Binh Minh Quan's version has gone downhill btw, though IIRC it does have more coconut milk than the LG version. (It has been six months or so since my last visit to Binh Minh Quan).

      2. jason carey RE: Robert Lauriston Aug 19, 2008 02:33 PM

        I like the one at Binh Minh Quan also.. have they gotten bad?

        1. daveena RE: Robert Lauriston Aug 19, 2008 06:12 PM

          I haven't been to Battambang in a while, but the last time I went, their Cambodian version if banh xeo was really good.

          1 Reply
          1. re: daveena
            Hunicsz RE: daveena Aug 20, 2008 01:30 PM

            Just wanted to second Battambang, which I think is a great restaurant in general (although I haven't been in 4 or 5 months).

          2. farmersdaughter RE: Robert Lauriston Aug 20, 2008 11:09 AM

            Speaking of Lotus Garden - I have not been for at least 3 months, possibly longer. Has anyone been lately? Anything new to report, uphill or downhill, or is all the same, consistently good?

            1 Reply
            1. re: farmersdaughter
              susancinsf RE: farmersdaughter Aug 20, 2008 02:55 PM

              I was last there three or so weeks ago (time to go back for my crepe fix :-)). Yes, consistently good, and there were a few new menu items. I meant to report on them at the time, but didn't, and of course now have forgotten details. I will try and be a better CH next time...

            2. b
              bigwheel042 RE: Robert Lauriston Aug 21, 2008 12:57 AM

              I like Lotus Garden's as well but I think I prefer the version at Ngoc Mai in the Tenderloin.

              1. j
                jan_b RE: Robert Lauriston Aug 25, 2008 02:29 PM

                The Bahn Xeo at Saigon Restaurant on Frank Ogawa (City Hall) Plaza in Oakland are excellent (though I'm not sure if there is coconut milk in the batter). Also be warned that it is only on their dinner menu. They will only make them during lunch but only early (like before 11:30 am) or late (like after 1 pm) at lunch (and not even then if they're busy) and it takes them about 15-20 minutes to make them. Since I work on the Plaza, I call my order in and show up 15 minutes later.

                1. nicedragonboy RE: Robert Lauriston Aug 26, 2008 09:34 PM

                  I went to Cafe Le in Alameda tonight for dinner w/ some friends and I ordered the Banh Xeo because I was thinking of this thread. It was very good there. Probably the best I've had in the East Bay outside of homecooking. @ $9 I thought it was a very good deal. I believe the crepe mix did hint of coconut, and it was stuffed with shredded chicken, peeled and diced shrimp, green onion, onions, and bean sprouts. My one complaint, I would've requested the crepe a little crispier next time, but it was still good.

                  I've been to Cafe Le a couple of times since they first re-opened, and I'm pretty sure they have gotten a new chef in the kitchen recently, because the food is worlds better than the first couple times times I went.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: nicedragonboy
                    Hunicsz RE: nicedragonboy Aug 27, 2008 09:46 AM

                    I'm glad to hear this, because I live a couple blocks away and have gone several times wanting very badly to like it and have been very disappointed. I haven't been back in several months.

                    Other than the crepe, anything else you've ordered and liked? Is the pho decent (didn't love it before)?

                    1. re: Hunicsz
                      nicedragonboy RE: Hunicsz Aug 27, 2008 03:23 PM

                      I didn't like it before either, but the last two times (during the last 2 weeks) I've been with several friends and we all thought it was pretty good, so get there before they switch chefs again!

                      Also had the Bo Tai Chanh, which was good.

                      1. re: nicedragonboy
                        Hunicsz RE: nicedragonboy Aug 28, 2008 08:52 AM

                        Thanks! Good to know there's decent Vietnamese within walking distance.

                        1. re: nicedragonboy
                          rworange RE: nicedragonboy Sep 5, 2008 09:36 PM


                          Cafe Le
                          1531 Webster St, Alameda, CA

                    2. ChowFun_derek RE: Robert Lauriston Sep 6, 2008 09:18 AM

                      The newish Vietnamese restaurant in the Duboce Triangle on 14th near Market...Jasmine Garden has them...I haven't tried it yet, the next time I'm there I'll ask whether they make them with coconut milk...
                      Nice people and pretty place by the way.

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