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Vietnamese Restaurants

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I have two clients in town from the Neatherlands and they are going to visit the city Friday and Saturday this week. I am not familar with Vietnamese Restaurants in the city. I am looking for the best Vietnamese places. They are also big on spicy foods. Does not matter about price range. Thanks.

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  1. Did they specifically request Viet cuisine? IMO it is one of the weakest spots in the NYC dining scene.

    The only place i can think of that is client-worthy is Indochine.

    If Viet was your idea, I say change it. Big time.

    9 Replies
    1. re: thegforceny

      They did say Vietnamese, but I will mention this to them. They are big on spicy food.. so How about a Thai?? ...

      1. re: BRI328

        Our Thai has gotten significantly better of recent.

        Kin Shop a bit more modern/mid-scale
        See: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/815502

        Less glam / holes in the wall
        Zaab Elee - Isaan style
        Wondee Siam

        1. re: thegforceny

          Thanks!

        2. re: BRI328

          Kin Shop would be good for a client dinner. Modern Thai is a great way to describe it. Their duck larb is very spicy.

          Look into also Rouge et Blanc for French-Vietnamese.

        3. re: thegforceny

          I agree on Vietnamese cuisine being one of the weakest in NYC. It's even a challenge finding some of the regular Vietnamese ingredients that we would use in Vietnamese cooking. Good luck though - and sorry I couldn't provide any suggestions.

          1. re: r32nissan

            "It's even a challenge finding some of the regular Vietnamese ingredients that we would use in Vietnamese cooking"

            Tan Tin Hung on Bowery just south of Grand will have just about anything you need.

            1. re: kurtt

              thanks kurtt - i'l give it a shot

              1. re: r32nissan

                kurtt, made my way here over the weekend for some Bun Bo Hue supplies and true to your recommendation, this place had pretty much everything I needed. Thanks so much for the recommendation. I've been going to the smaller store on Grand between Bowery and Chrystie but Tan Tin Hung has a great selection. Had a good feeling about the place when I heard people speaking Vietnamese around the entrance.

                Even found some Che and nem chua! Thanks again.

                1. re: r32nissan

                  I'm glad I could help.

        4. You could pick a worse Vietnamese place than Pho Viet Huong (73 Mulberry). If you can wrap it in a lettuce leaf, it's pretty good here. Cha Gio. Banh Xiou. Bo La Nho. That kind of stuff.

          The Thai places mentioned previously are better, though. And Pok Pok, in Brooklyn is worthy of note.

          1. Omai (158 9th Ave) is a lovely restaurant, intimate and the noise level is good for conversation. I haven't been back in years but it was my favorite Vietnamese restaurant, probably the best in New York. I would request beforehand for added heat if they like spicy food.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Pookipichu

              Yes, Omai is gooood

              1. re: uncledunkel

                I would also recommend Omai. Their pho is delicious.

              2. re: Pookipichu

                For Vietnamese I would also recommend O Mai, but realize that Vietnamese food is not spicy, and also O Mai is casual, a bit noisy, and the seating is a little tight. Thai would be a better choice of cuisine for spicy food lovers. Kin Shop has great food, but is casual and quite noisy. If you want something more upscale, a little quieter, but still lively, with very comfortable seating, I would highly recommend Kittichai. The food is interesting, fairly spicy and delicious.

              3. For spicy food, would you consider Sichuan cuisine? Sichuan restaurants are among the few in Manhattan that serve me consistently spicy food. Legend actually has a bit of atmosphere and a bar (don't expect the waitstaff to know much about alcohol, but they do have Tullamore Dew, for example, which is a decent whiskey). Vietnamese food often isn't that spicy. Another possibility is Korean barbecue at Don's Bogam - again, not a really fancy restaurant, but with an atmosphere superior to the glary lighting at Madangsui (which in the past, I've found just a bit better in terms of banchan and galbi/bulgogi) and very good food (I especially recommend the galbi marinated in hot sauce). You could also look into upscale Indian restaurants. I can't personally recommend any, but there have been posts about Junoon, for example.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Pan

                  Junoon is a very good call, if they would go for Indian food.