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Aug 1, 2010 10:21 AM

Highly recommended new Vietnamese restaurant

We had a delightful experience at Le Viet, the new Vietnamese restaurant on 11th Street just north of Washington Avenue.

The place is stunning - large and beautiful. Service is exceptional. Prices are reasonable.
And the food was excellent!

Four of us enjoyed every dish we had. The menu is large; plenty of vegetarian options if that is needed. The presentation was exquisite.

If street parking isn't available, you can park behind the restaurant - I think it is the CVS lot.
It tells you about it on the website.

They don't have a liquor license yet, so it is currently byob.

The ceilings are high and it is quiet! This is a plus for those of us who like to be able to talk with our friends.

A real find!

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    1. re: Buckethead

      I had the #2 spring roll, which had the crispy fried wrapper in thin strips instead of solid - not a good explanation, I know, but it was delicious. There were four small pieces, so I shared. Then I had the salmon, which was in a sortof barbecue sauce - it was salmon steak (which isn't usually my choice), crisped skin on the outside and rare inside, which I had requested.

      My husband had the summer rolls, which he loves - not fried, and filled with a tasty mixture - I think seafood. Then had had a pork dish, with several sides including kim chee, which is a favorite of his. His broken rice came with a fried egg on top - a treat!

      One friend had the pho and liked it very much. I can't make comparisons; I don't know enough. Then he had either duck or pork, can't remember. Our other friend had a platter of huge shrimp, delicious but evidently cooked and served in the shells. She had to wrestle with it, but learned how to do it and said the shrimp were wonderful.

      My husband and I shared dessert: ice cream and fried bananas with coconut shavings.

      Our son,who was there the following night, enjoyed the chef's recommended thin noodles (grass noodles?) and seafood.

      I think the atmosphere added greatly to our enjoyment. It was so comfortable, pleasant and serene. We go to many Asian restaurants with very good food that are serviceable but sometimes rushed and noisy. (Though our Japanese places tend to be quiet.)
      When we are out with friends - and we often are - it is a pleasure to relax, talk, and enjoy our surroundings.

      I will be interested to hear what other people order and what you all think.

      1. re: sylviag

        sylviag - did the spring roll look like this:

        If so, I'd say that's a good enough reason to try the restaurant. I enjoy that style of spring rolls, even if I don't particularly love going to Vietnamese restaurants.

        1. re: Ali

          They have those (that was the second-best thing I had there) and they have the same roll without the crispy threads on the outside. Here's Laban's brief report if you missed it:

          1. re: Ali

            Yes, they did look like that. It was #2 on the appetizer list. They were small, and there were four to an order.
            My husband loved the summer rolls, which had a soft wrapper and delicious filling.
            I am looking forward to going back and trying other items on that menu.

      2. Do you go to Nam Phuong across Washington? Can you compare the quality, flavor and variety of the food?

        3 Replies
        1. re: barryg

          Le Viet beats Nam Phuong IMO, thought I haven't been to Nam Phuong in a while.

          1. re: Buckethead

            Buckethead, your review says your Vietnamese experience is limited to Pho 75 and Vietnam in Chinatown? IMO Vietnam is not in the same league as Nam Phuong for most foods, but a lot of people like it so I guess it is a preference thing.

            Anyway I will probably try this place at some point, but it's very hard to not go to Nam Phuong which has never let me down, even though the atmosphere the very casual.

            1. re: barryg

              Buckethead, your review says your Vietnamese experience is limited to Pho 75 and Vietnam in Chinatown?

              Pretty much, though since I wrote that I've had pho at Pho Ha on your recommendation. And I've been to Nam Phuong, but only once, years ago. Their website doesn't show it but Le Viet has a Pho section on their menu with maybe 6-8 varieties. If you go, get the clam appetizer that comes in the sesame-cracker bowl, that was the most interesting thing I had. If I remember correctly Laban went there (he didn't review it) and liked that dish as well.