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Little Saigon City looks like a corner coffee shop, just the sort of humble, low-key space that hints at unpretentious home-cooked food -- in this case, Vietnamese-style. Indeed, that's just what the friendly folks at Little Saigon serve. They also cook up Chinese food, which isn't nearly as good. The typical Vietnamese diet consists of 70 to 80 percent carbs, and the menu here is accordingly categorized into bowls of broth based with rice noodles (pho), bowls of varied ingredients tossed with thin rice vermicelli (bun), and rice plates of chicken, pork, or shrimp (com dia). Our favorite was pho, a street-food from Hanoi. More specifically, pho tai chin, a bowl of sparkling, star anise-seeped beef broth bursting with broad rice noodles; thin, tender slices of eye round steak; lean brisket, green onions, bean sprouts, jalapeños, ginger, basil, and cilantro. Hot-and-sour condiments of hoisin sauce, red chili sauce, and lime come on the side; with its tangle of tastes and textures, this dish comes closest to the delicate yin-yang contrasts of Vietnamese cooking. At $8.95, it's also the best deal on a menu brimming with bargains (the most expensive dish is $11.95). Stick to the buns and phos, and Little Saigon City is worth a visit.
A repetitious restaurant scene can only lead to repetitious reviews. I repeat: No, I'll clarify: From the exterior it looks like a corner coffee shop, just the sort of humble, low-key space that hints at unpretentious home-cooked food -- in this... More »
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