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Oct 29, 2009 08:57 AM

Seeking Authenic Vietnamese Dinner in MD

I'm looking for a place to host my husband's birthday dinner. Thinking about 20-30 guests. Priority is great, authentic Vietnamese food (in Bethesda, Rockville, Silver Spring areas). Curious about Ba Le in Rockville. I've read great reviews about the food. How's the ambiance? Any other ideas?

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  1. Yes, I realize that you don't want to hear about a restaurant in Virginia but you really should give Present serious consideration. I believe it is the best Vietnamese restaurant in the United States. Tom Sietsema gives it three stars which, next to Eve, is the highest rating of ANY restaurant in Northern VA. Other than the rush hour you can drive from I 495 & the Rockville Pike in less than 30 minutes. During the rush hour bring a book to read... There are numerous threads for it on here. This is Tom's review of it:

    United States
    400 Maryland Ave SW, Washington, DC 20202

    1. Ba Le is tiny with only a few tables. Zero ambiance--more of a luncheonette type of place. The food, however, is outstanding and reasonable.

      1. You'd take up all of Ba Le. They improved the decor in the last year or two, but as another poster mentioned, it is still a lunchonette sort of place. You may be able to get them to cater.

        1. The only "real" Vietnamese restaurants I know in MD (as opposed to a pho house) are Taste of Saigon and Green Papaya. They're ok but nothing particularly special.

          Dumb question, I know, could you do Burmese instead? Burma Road in Rockville/Gaithersburg is really good.

          2 Replies
          1. re: reiflame

            I would second Burma Road. Really good, authentic Burmese food, but stick to the Burmese menu and don't order off the Chinese. The room is large and pretty.

            1. re: reiflame

              Green Papaya has nice room (I think the food is pretty good, but I wouldn't argue that it's anything particularly special).

            2. how about big saigon a few stores away from Bale in Rockville. The ambiance is ok, big room with lots of tables that could fit the size of your party. not only pho but also a fairly extensive vienamese menu. food is good. love the hole crispy flounder. go up there and talk to them and see what they could do for you