Claypot - Berkeley
tried combo pho(9)
-supposed meats of fillet mignon, brisket, flank, tendon, tripe
not all present. looked like mostly flanks. others not so much
-broth tasted of five spice, msg, no beef taste.
-waiter claimed no msg, went to check, never returned
-noodles very soft, seem like fresh noodles used.
Tried it with a couple of friends for happy hour beer and appetizers last Friday. Nice vibe, comfy minimalist decor. The waitstaff was friendly to the point of repeatedly imposing on our conversation to ask if we wanted more appetizers, to order dinner, more water, more drinks, the check. Enough already. Waitperson was knowledgeable about the 6 on tap beer offerings. She suggested a couple of appetizers, one of which we tried....the shrimp/pork spring rolls. My friends ate them; I took a bite and gave the rest back to them. The wrapper was rubbery, the inside was tasteless. It was impossible to tell that it was a food substance. I ordered the egg roll and, while it was infinitely more edible than the spring roll, it wasn't something I'd return to get. We were told by the waitperson, when we asked, that the owners of this restaurant also own an Italian place and one of another ethnicity. I say, do what you know well; otherwise don't do it. This restaurant is in my neighborhood and, once again, I'm disappointed with the offerings we get in SW Berkeley. Mint Leaf and Eat (which I see has closed shop) have not helped. I may return to try something else at Claypot; someone wrote on another website that they have huge banh mi for $5. Then again, who wants a huge, tasteless sandwich?
Berkeleyside reports it's open, Vietnamese. FB page says 10am-9pm (10pm Fri.-Sat.) daily.