Gingergrass in Silverlake
We had an early dinner at Gingergrass last night. At about 5:30 on a Saturday night only a few tables were occupied. Upon entering, our greeting was a little abrupt as the menus were tossed our way and we were directed to find a table. However, once we settled in and ordered, our service was more relaxed and friendly.
My noodle bowl was rather ordinary, but the stand-out is their tofu cubes. They were delicately crispy on the outside while heavenly soft and flavorful inside. They were served hot on the cold rice noodles...a nice combination.
I ordered their blood orange elixir (non-alcoholic). It was layered with fresh blood orange on the bottom, a little simple sugar over that and then seltzer on top, with a lime wedge. This is a nice summer refresher, but it is also very acidic on an empty stomach. I mostly enjoyed it after I had finished my bowl.
While I really like this type of Vietnamese food, I am not sure that the execution of such is remarkable at Gingergrass. It is, however, a very easy and reasonable lunch or dinner.
Everyone always has a great time at Gingergrass. It's were I take people for lunch when they come to visit.
At gingergrass the shrimp portion is HUGE and I really like the mama cindy chicken salad. They have fun creative drinks.
Pho Cafe on Sunset is much better but the menu is very limited, is cash only, and only serves beer. The summer rolls at Pho Cafe are some of the best I've ever had.
We like it a lot. We aren't slaves to authenticity, and the food is good, the prices are ok and the servers are friendly. Usually two in our party are gluten intolerant, and they are very sensitive to their special dietary needs. The vibe in the restaurant is upbeat, and we always leave happy. if however, you are looking for something authentic and cultural, this might not satisfy.
I don't like Gingergrass at all. I don't think the food is very good or authentic, the noise level is too high, the wait is just not worth it.
If you want better - still not fantastic, but better - Vietnamese food nearby Silverlake, usually with less of a wait, I prefer Indochine Vien, 3110 Glendale Blvd. in Atwater: http://www.indochinevien.com/
There should be a number of old posts that refer to/review this place.
It's loud and the wait is usually long, but the food is decent (definitely not great), as long as you're not expecting really authentic, intense Vietnamese flavors. I've enjoyed their crispy whole shrimp in the past, but I haven't been in a couple years.
Wish we had a real Vietnamese place in the neighborhood ...