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Jul 15, 2011 04:17 PM

need asian change of pace in paris

ok....we're topping out after 5 nights in paris...need some crunchy spicey asian fare...big pile of flash wokked veggies with some noodles or such. (new yorkers that we are..we're used to changing it up.) any ideas on somewhere that will satisfy this one night need? then back to the reservations awaiting us next week. (we don't want the made-ahead steam table stuff i've seen in lots of little vietnamese style shops here in the 10th. we want stir-fried string beans in some kind of garlic paste buffered by a little rice. does it exist here?

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  1. The style of cooking you describe sounds like Sichuan, so maybe you should try Restaurant de Chengdu on boulevard de Strasbourg. I remember some fried green beans there that were just like that. Rice on the side, though. Otherwise I do not see any 'Asian' restaurant that would serve "a big pile of flash-wokked veggies", that rather sounds like one of the concept wok places that open here and there in shopping malls or business neighborhoods.

    Sticking to your "crunchy spicy" recommendation, the Laotian places sound more like what you're looking for. Lao Lane Xang (there's 2 of them) on avenue d'Ivry, Lao Thai on rue de Tolbiac and Lao Viet on boulevard Massena. All in the 13th. But there's little wok cooking there, stir-fries are not what they do best.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Ptipois

      The picture of Pti's Restaurant de Chengdu on Flickr cited below looks like what the OP describes. At home we often order long beans with minced pork at a Sichuan place. Maybe on the carte here also since it's such a classic.

      1. re: Ptipois

        i second the Lao recs...i especially love Lao Lane Xang's grungier sister restaurant Rouammit...

      2. les Pâtes Vivantes on the rue du Faubourg Montmartre between the rue La Fayette and the rue Richer.... noodles, not rice .... a 10-15 minute but somewhat dreary walk from the 10th/ Chateau d'Eau

        if you can eat early, the Marché des Enfants Rouges on the rue de Bretagne at the rue Charlot in the 3rd (ultra-trendy) has a good selection of traiteurs/ mini-restos (japanese, french, moroccan, lebanese, portuguese, but only occasionally a wok guy who does your sort of stir fries) ... the japanese one does however have some really light and refreshing options... but closes at 8pm tue-sat and 2pm on sunday

        5 Replies
        1. re: Parnassien

          The walk does not have to be dreary if you take rue des Petites Ecuries, which is getting hipper by the day. And also the street alone has three "not bad" Chinese restaurants, all better than Les Pâtes Vivantes: l'Orient d'Or, An Li, La Cuisine de chez moi. All of them, like les Pâtes Vivantes.
          On rue des Petites Ecuries near rue Faubourg St Denis, there is such a wok concept place as described by Pti. It looks like a fast food place serving chop suey. W FOR WOK. 12 rue des Petites Ecuries. That street (I include rue Richer which is really the same street with a changed name) is blessed with great food fengshui, with Öslem, El Papi Chulo, Vivant, L'Orient d'Or, An Li, La Cuisine de chez moi, Bob de Tunis, Kiku, l'Office, all of which I would recommend before I recommend a Chinese fast food joint.
          Bonus at the end of the street: the wonderful fine foods store A La Mère de Famille, 35-39 rue du faubourg montmartre, which is serving its own homemade ice cream these days.

          1. re: Parigi

            I confirm, all better than Les Pâtes Vivantes. Also, heaps of vegetables with a little rice on the side and "crunchy spicy" is not exactly the kind of thing LPV offers.
            And I agree that the neighborhood, far from being dreary, has exceptional food fengshui, as far East as rue du Faubourg-Saint-Martin. There's also an Afghan place I'd like to try, a Malagasy restaurant in the Passage, not to mention Le Tombé du Ciel and Mardin's excellent tripe soup and ayran fountain (in the lower part of the rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis). Etc. etc.

            1. re: Ptipois

              i said the WALK was somewhat dreary ... i.e. unchanging, unremarkable, little variation in tone or atmosphere ... if it's your quartier i apologize for not being as enthusiastic about it as you

              1. re: Parnassien

                1. It is not Pti's quartier; she lives in the Left Bank.
                2. It is not my quartier; I live in the 9th.
                3. The restaurant that I dissed, Les Pâtes Vivantes, IS in my quartier. So much for the defending-my-quartier theory. :-)

                1. re: Parigi

                  And furthermore, one can think very highly of a quartier without living there. It is truly one of the last ungentrified areas of Paris. To me that is quite the opposite of dreary.

        2. We are interested in the same thing, a change of pace for one meal. Likely we are focused on Vietnamese, however.

          In terms of "solid" or "best" mid priced or more luxe Vietnamese do you all have a favorite? We aren't so interested in fancy, though that would be Ok. We just want great food. Yet, not so much Pho, or similar. More likely some noodle dishes, great starters and the like. Thanks.

          9 Replies
          1. re: comiendosiempre

            The one place we always go to for our Asian fix is Lao Viet (which Pti also mentioned). It gets the stamp of approval from every Asian I know - from our Asian friends who grew up and live in Paris, to those like us who visit Paris regularly but must have an Asian meal at some point despite the great French food.

            The one dish that is memorable is this ceviche-like pork fried rice. It has a lot of crispy/crunchy rice bits (think from the bottom of a clay pot) with a tangy flavored pork that is raw.

            Lao Viet is a great dinner choice for Sundays, when just about every good French place is closed. Here is the website:

            1. re: hong_kong_foodie

              Lao Viet is the cat's pajamas. It is a bit out in the sticks, lost on the boulevard Massena with urban demolition/renovation a few inches away... Now it has a "last house on the cliff" feeling but it's still going strong.

              The "ceviche-like pork fried rice" is Nem Lao, a crispy salad of fried rice, shallots, lemongrass and fresh coriander with sliced nem chua.

              Nem chua is not technically "raw" but chopped pork meat and rind that have been cured with fermented rice, garlic and sliced green chillies. You can find nem chua at Asian stores, they're the little square packages wrapped in pink paper and sold in small plastic nets. You have to let them mature before you eat them (there's a sell-from date on the label). Sliced nem chua is delicious on buttered toast.

              You eat Nem Lao just like VIetnamese Spring rolls: put a leaf of lettuce on your palm, a pinch of nem lao on it, a few pickled vegetables and herbs, roll up and eat.

              1. re: Ptipois

                Do you recall any restaurants that offer Pate Imperial, which is wrapped in lettuce and served with a Lemon dipping sauce? Our favorite spot, Le Mandarin, in the 7th, changed hands a while back.

                1. re: Oakglen

                  All Vietnamese restaurants serve nems, a.k.a. pâtés impériaux, the Vietnamese Spring rolls I referred to above. Some serve better ones than others. There are gazillions of them in the 13e.
                  The ones at Lao Viet are quite good, for instance.

                2. re: Ptipois

                  Funny, the restaurant Lao Viet looks great, parfait. The cats pajamas. But, indeed, it also seems way out there. How about similar but closer to "downtown?". Thanks

                  1. re: comiendosiempre

                    If "great, parfait" and "cats pajamas" are your goals, rethink "downtown" Lao Viet is a 100 yards from the Porte d'Ivry metro, with stops at Palais Royale, and Opera, pretty close to "downtown"...

                    1. re: mangeur

                      And if you take the streetcar that slides along the boulevards des Maréchaux and can be caught from any Porte at the South of Paris, Lao Viet is only a few steps away from the Porte d'Ivry stop.
                      Either way, métro or tram, you'll be amply rewarded for the short walk.

                      1. re: Ptipois

                        The streetcar sounds like a great idea. I can catch that in many places, including in the First? LIkewise, Au Coin des Gourmet looks very interesting, more pricey, it seems.

                        Would a taxi from the First out to Lao Viet be about 15 Euros? Thanks.

                        1. re: comiendosiempre

                          The streetcar (tram), as I wrote, slides along the boulevard des Maréchaux which means it runs in a half-circle between the city and the Périphérique. So you can't take it in the First. A taxi would be no more than 15 euros but if you're in the First it will be much faster and cheaper to take the métro, line 7 to Porte d'Ivry. Then it's a five-minute walk.

            2. For an oriental vegetable fest', I'd head to "Tien Hiang". This vegan asian establishment has two restaurants, one on the rue Chemin Vert in the 11th, another on the crummier end of rue Bichat in the 10th. The decor in both outlets leaves a lot to be desired. The staff couldn't be nicer.

              I really like the ersatz meat made with tofu here, but they have a lot of non faux meat dishes too - salads, soups, stir-fries. Saying that, the "sushi" (this is one restaurant where the inverted commas that surround the names of the dishes are entirely justified) are very good. Very fresh.

              1. Not in the 10th, and perhaps not what you're looking for, but I've enjoyed eating at Au Coin Des Gourmets (Rue Dante) in the 5th. Vietnamese, Cambodian and Laotian foods.
                For Chinese, there's a place-- actually, some places-- on Rue Volta (3rd). I wish I could remember the names of the place I ate, sorry.

                1 Reply