Haute Vietnamese in Walnut Creek - Eleve
Have gone twice now to Eleve. Surprised to have not turned up anything in Search on the Board! Eleve is an up and coming Slanted Door but without the parking headaches or high prices. Really enjoyed our meal there - cubed filet mignon is a sweet soy reduction, sturgeon in their classic curry/veggie saute (xao lan?),, salmon sate and crispy tofu. We started with the Vietnamese beef carpaccio.
The standouts were the beef dishes and the sturgeon - the carpaccio garnished with finely shredded mint and sesame seeds was just delicious. The Filet Mignon is their signature dish and although a bit salty, also great. The sturgeon was the star of the meal - firm meat like shark but much more delicate in flavor and the xao lan curry sauce was like none I have tasted at other Vietnamese restaurants.
They have a very interesting cocktail menu although we didn't drink this evening.
The decor is cool modern - dark wood with brushed chrome. Sparse and elegant.
Street parking and also a 3 story city garage attached to the Lesher center, 1 block away.
Excellent Vietnamese food, good wine list, full bar.
From the dinner menu, shrimp spring rolls were the best I've had since the original Slanted Door. Jackfruit toss was a new thing to me, had both young fruity-tasting jackfruit and older bamboo shoot-like jackfruit with pork, shrimp, lots of rau ram. Pork fire pot was very traditional, juicy chunks of pork, hard-boiled egg, deep-flavored broth.
We had some items from the cheap happy hour menu served only at the bar. Grilled lemongrass beef, really great. Onion rings, not very Vietnamese except for the dipping sauce. Very spicy fried prawns. Nice braised eggplant "flatbread" that turned out to be a pair of sliders (hard to share between more than two).
The cocktail program is first-rate. They're stocked with all the special ingredients to make your Aviation, Last Word, or Corpse Reviver #2, have a lot of original creative drinks as well. Surprisingly locavore focus, e.g. the maraschino and pisco were both from California.
Great place even by Oakland / SF standards. Sort of the same idea as Vo's, but Élevé is more ambitious and consistent. The very hands-on couple that own it worked at Pho 84 for years, the chef is the daughter of the owners and her husband runs the front of the house. My sister-in-law who lives nearby and is a regular said something like, finally we don't have to go through the tunnel to get a great meal.
Eleve Restaurant & Bar
1677 N Main St, Walnut Creek, CA 94596